Join us at the NEMA 90th Annual Membership Meeting November 16 and 17 in Cleveland, Ohio, when we delve into economic indicators and the economic outlook for 2017 with NEMA Chief Economist Don Leavens, PhD. Below is an excerpt of what you can expect.
Listen to the full interview here.
Q: The U.S. economic expansion celebrated its seventh anniversary in June. The unemployment rate of 4.9 percent is close to the full employment rate, inflation is benign, and household wealth is higher than the prerecession peak. Yet businesses remain reluctant to step up investment. Does this suggest a recession or contraction is imminent?
A: While the economy is in its eighty-fifth month of expansion since the recession, this long stretch of gains has been punctuated with several quarters of near-zero and even negative economic growth. Unexpected events such as the Japanese tsunami, the Arab Spring uprisings, and continuing financial crises in the European banking sector have buffeted the U.S. economy.
Businesses have hesitated to pick up the pace of investment in plants and equipment because consumers have been slow to revert to their prerecession spending habits. Recently, however, consumption has steadied as labor markets have recovered and households are moving off a prolonged period of deleveraging.