Economic Insights - November 2017

Comments Off on Economic Insights - November 2017
Economic Insights - November 2017 LoadingADD TO FAVORITES

Real U.S. GDP grew at a 3.0 percent annualized rate in the third quarter.  That was the second straight quarterly reading at 3 percent or above.  It’s particularly impressive that the 3 percent growth happened despite of the two hurricanes that pushed some economic activity into the fourth quarter.  As a result, we’re projecting growth to exceed the 3.5 percent benchmark in the fourth quarter, which would be the first time we’ve had three straight quarters at or above 3 percent since before the financial crisis. 

Keep in mind that we are likely to get significant tax cuts sometime in the next several months, which will spur growth further in 2018 and beyond.  But regardless in the months ahead, things look brighter than they’ve been for nearly a decade.

For instance, the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index® increased again in October.  The Present Situation Index increased from 146.9 to 151.1, a seventeen-year record high!  Meanwhile, the Expectations Index rose from 103.0 in September to 109.1.  Consumers’ assessment of current conditions improved, boosted by the job market which has not received such favorable ratings since the summer of 2001.  Consumers were also considerably more upbeat about the short-term outlook, with the prospect of improving business conditions as the primary driver.  Confidence remains high among consumers, and their expectations suggest the economy will continue expanding at a solid pace for at least the remainder of the year.

Similarly, U.S. Consumer Sentiment rose 5.6 points to 100.7 in the final October report from the University of Michigan survey.  This is its highest level since January 2004! The current conditions index climbed to 116.5 from September’s 111.7.

The Markit Flash Composite PMI rolled in at a nine-month high in October with a reading of 55.7 versus the September read of 54.8.  Tim Moore, Associate Director at IHS Markit, said: “The U.S. economy seems to have made a strong start to the final quarter of 2017.  During October, resilient service sector growth and an encouraging rebound in manufacturing production combined to generate the sharpest rise in private sector output in two and a half years.”

Notably, Core...

To continue reading, become a paid subscriber for full access.
Already a Business Briefings subscriber? Login for full access now.

Subscribe for as low as $135/year

  • Get 12 months of Business Briefings that will impact your business and your life
  • Gain access to the entire Business Briefings Research Library
  • Optional Business Briefings monthly CDs in addition to your On-Line access
  • If you do not like what you see, you can cancel anytime and receive a 100% pro-rata refund