Economists with the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) have lowered their outlook for 2016 in their latest quarterly survey. Respondents predict that the U.S. economy will grow by 1.8 percent in 2016, down from 2.5 percent in the March survey. At the same time, they expect real GDP growth of 2.3 percent in 2017, unchanged from the prior release. One of the larger drivers of the weaker-than-desired growth rates for this year was business fixed investment, which was not seen growing in this survey, down from 4.7 percent growth at the annual rate six months ago and 2.5 percent in the prior estimate. This is consistent with the caution seen in other economic indicators.
Consumer spending was also seen slowing somewhat, down from an annualized 3.0 percent growth in December to 2.6 percent now, even as it continued to expand modestly. At the same time, residential investment should remain a bright spot, increasing 9.6 percent this year, up from 8.3 percent in the prior survey. Housing starts were predicted to grow to 1.21 million units by year’s end, slowing from the 1.24 million outlook seen three months ago.
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