LIA Monthly Economic Report - Despite Growth, U.S. Still Faces Hurdles
By: Dr. Pearl M. Kamer, LIA Chief Economist
The U.S. economy grew at its fastest pace in a year and a half in the fourth quarter of last year. Preliminary figures indicate that U.S. GDP grew at an annualized rate of 2.8% in the fourth quarter. However, growth was triggered by inventory rebuilding, not increased consumer spending. Recent employment gains have raised hopes that the American economy may finally be entering a virtuous economic cycle in which there is more hiring, which leads to more consumer spending, which in turn leads to even more hiring. Despite signs of faster economic growth, the U.S. economy still faces significant headwinds in the form of a weak housing market, a consumer sector that remains hobbled by debt, and declining government spending.
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