The US Muddles Along

As I’ve been pointing out, economic conditions in the US aren’t as bad as some fear mongers in the financial media are portraying.

To be clear, conditions aren’t spectacular. Growth is muted and prospects aren’t stellar. But on the margin, the US economy continues to grind forward with no imminent signs of the dreaded “R” word, for now.

The reality is we just continue to see more of what has been consistently happening since 2009 — sluggish but overall positive growth.  Here are a few recent data points that paint the same picture.

  • 4Q GDP numbers were revised up to 1.00% from previous estimates of 0.7%
  • Personal income and spending both ticked up 0.5% in January
  • UoM Consumer confidence index was at 91.7 (higher than expected)
  • Durable goods orders jumped 4.9% in January
  • The labor market continues to tighten with job growth and declining jobless claims

The bottom line, I see much of the same economic-muddling-along for 2016.

Victor K. Lai, CFA

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