Wednesday, November 8, 2023
The U.S. economy has continued to exceed expectations and had an incredible third quarter with GDP at 4.9%, more than double the growth of second quarter. Consumer spending is high, unemployment is low, and the job market is strong. The Federal Reserve’s inflation battle has brought it down to 3.7%, which is still higher than the 2% target, so further interest rate hikes remain a possibility. The resilience of the economy thus far is giving hope for the Fed’s desired “soft landing,” but some economists are still predicting a recession in 2024. Record high credit card debt and rising delinquency rates, a low personal savings rate, mortgage rates nearing 8%, an auto worker strike, the reinstatement of student loan repayments, and continuing interest rate hikes are expected to catch up to consumers, so predictions for quarter four and early 2024 are not as strong. Additionally, global tensions are incredibly high with the Russia-Ukraine and Israel-Hamas wars. Oil prices are at $83/barrel.
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