Economic Perspective: Update on the U.S. Economy

NC State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences professor Dr. Mike Walden working in a recording studio.

MARY WALDEN:

“Today’s program gives an update on the U.S. economy. Mike, the first quarter of 2019 is now behind us. The early part of the year was filled with much concern about the possibility of a recession. Are things looking a little brighter now?”

MIKE WALDEN:

“They are. In fact, recessionary fears, at least for 2019, have receded. We just got the first preliminary report on gross domestic product growth for the first quarter: 3.2 percent. Actually higher than the entire year of 2018. So that was a good number. Jobs continue to be created. Consumers continue to spend. The Federal Reserve has stopped hiking interest rates. The stock market has rebounded.”

“So it looks like all the big factors in the economy are moving in the same direction, and if you look at what a lot of analysts are now saying, many of them who were predicting a recession for this year, earlier this year, are now saying, ‘No we won’t have a recession in 2019. Maybe in 2020.’ That’s actually the view that I’ve had all year.”

“Now we always have threats out there in the economic world, in the political world, that could derail this. I think the biggest threats right now come from slowness in foreign economies, the China trade dispute. If we don’t get a deal I think that’ll be a downer for the economy, and we always have hotspots around the world that could affect the economy, hotspots like North Korea and Iran.”

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