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posted on 16 July 2016

Economy To Keep Rolling Along In 2016 And Accelerate Slightly In 2017

from the Chicago Fed

-- this post authored by William A. Strauss and Rebecca Friedman

According to participants in the Chicago Fed's annual Automotive Outlook Symposium, the nation's economic growth is forecasted to be near its long-term average this year and to strengthen somewhat in 2017. Inflation is expected to increase in both 2016 and 2017. The unemployment rate is anticipated to edge lower through the end of 2017, reaching 4.8% by then. Light vehicle sales are predicted to be flat, at 17.3 million units, in 2016 and decrease slightly in 2017.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago held its 23rd annual Automotive Outlook Symposium (AOS) on June 3, 2016, at its Detroit Branch. More than 60 economists and analysts from business, academia, and government attended the AOS. This Chicago Fed Letter reviews the forecasts from last year's AOS for 2015, and then analyzes the forecasts for 2016 and 2017 (see figure 1) and summarizes the presentations from this year's AOS.

The U.S. economy continued to expand from the longest and deepest drop in economic activity since the Great Depression. During the 27 quarters following the end of the Great Recession, the annualized rate of real gross domestic product (GDP) growth was 2.1% - near what is considered the long-term rate of growth for the U.S. economy. This GDP growth rate is very disappointing, since typically, the pace of economic recovery is quite sharp following a deep recession.

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