Cliff Waldman, an economist at Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI, an Arlington, Va.-based business and public policy research group, expects that as the U.S. economy grows at an "above trend" rate in early 2006, industrialized economies elsewhere will be slowing from an annualized average of 2% in the fourth quarter of 2005 to a 1.7% average for all four calendar quarters of 2006.
In contrast, the cumulative growth rate among the world's developing economies will accelerate from a 4.3% rate in the fourth quarter of 2005 to a 4.5% rate in the first quarter of 2006, before falling toward a 3.6% rate in the first three months of 2007, Waldman says.
Add these to inflation concerns and the result is likely to be somewhat slower growth for U.S. exports. Waldman now expects U.S. exports to grow at a 6.3% annual rate this quarter and the first two quarters of 2006 before picking up to a 7.4% rate between mid-2006 and mid-2007. Previously he had expected a 6.4% rate through the first half of next year and a 9.3% rate from mid-2006 to mid-2007.