The Economy Should Remain on Track
The U.S. economy should remain on its steady-if-uninspiring course in the months ahead, according to recent economic data.
Fist, we’ve seen continued strong job growth in recent months. The unemployment rate is now below 5% in most parts of the country. However, wages are not rising fast enough and the labor participation rate remains high.
Industrial indicators have ticked up a bit from early-year lows, with the latest data showing a slight pickup in factory orders. However, depressed demand for U.S. exports will continue to put a drag on the sector.
Mortgage rates remain at historic lows, which should help keep real estate markets moving as we head into the spring.
So, steady-if-uninspiring is a good way of describing things.
Last week, The Conference Board said that its Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the U.S. increased slightly in February, following declines for the previous two months.
This is good, since the LEI is a pretty reliable “look ahead” at the strength of the economy moving forward. Given these recent pieces of good news, economists are expecting continued moderate growth in the months ahead.
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