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The 2015 economy

It’s traditional for economists at the beginning of a new year to give forecasts for growth, jobs, inflation and other key economic measures. North Carolina State University’s Mike Walden outlines what he sees in his crystal ball for 2015.

We have a lot of agreement among economists this year: We think 2015 is going to be a good year – in fact, maybe the best year economically within a decade in the United State as well as here in North Carolina.

“If we look at our broadest measure of growth, gross domestic product, we think that’s going to go up at a 3 percent rate – that’s about 50 percent higher than what we’ve seen in the last couple of years.

“We think at the national level we might be creating 250,000 or more jobs each month. That’s a very, very robust pace, again, compared to where we are.

“Wages and incomes have been lagging, but we should start to see those improve.

“Inflation has been very benign, really, coming in under 2 percent on an analyzed basis. This includes everything. Also food and fuel, we think, … will probably stay at about that level – may edge up a little bit, but nothing out of control.

“But, we still have big issues: We’ve got inequality. We have a lack of jobs for those folks who don’t have adequate skills. And, of course, in North Carolina we have a lot of geographical differences in terms of the economy. “