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posted on 22 December 2017

Looking Back At 2017 - A Year Of Relatively Strong Growth

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Heading into Christmas week, it is a good time to take a step back and reflect on the good fortunes enjoyed in 2017.

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I posted on 01 January 2017 President Trump Likely Will Deliver A More Robust Economy In 2017:

President-elect Trump is more than likely to be handed an economy where the underlying dynamics are already accelerating. Two leading indicators ECRI Weekly Leading Index and RecessionAlert's Weekly leading Index are both accelerating and their values are at levels consistent with strong economic growth.

I have no crystal ball - but I am a trend person. Trends continue until they don't. And the economy did deliver relatively strong growth this year as shown in the below graph.

The heavy light blue line in the above graph is population growth - and all things being equal, the economy would grow consistent with population. Of course things are never equal - but population growth provides a good comparison to view economic growth. For the data released so far in 2017, in order of growth, the following major economic metrics have exceeded population growth [note that all items are inflation adjusted]:

  • real home prices
  • real personal consumption expenditures
  • manufacturing
  • real disposable personal income
  • real retail sales
  • employment

And the laggards this year are:

  • construction spending
  • existing home sales

There is little I see on the horizon which would significantly affect these trends. I wish all the best in 2018.

Other Economic News this Week:

The Econintersect Economic Index for December 2017 marginally declined and returned to territory associated with slower economic growth. Still the economic growth forecasts in 2017 have remained in a very narrow band. Six-month employment growth forecast is now indicating marginally improving growth.

Bankruptcies this Week from Global A&T Electronics (GATE), Rentech, Privately-held Expro Holdings US (d/b/a Umbrellastream US)

Weekly Economic Release Scorecard:

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