Economic Growth on the Upswing, With a Few Emerging Soft Spots
WASHINGTON, DC – Economic growth is poised to accelerate to 2.6 percent in the second half of the year, a rebound from the lackluster growth of 1.0 percent in the first half of 2016, according to Fannie Mae’s (FNMA/OTC) Economic & Strategic Research (ESR) Group’s September 2016 Economic and Housing Outlook. The ESR Group’s full-year 2016 forecast remains at 1.8 percent, consistent with their prior forecast. Consumer and government spending are expected to drive growth despite a cooldown in consumer activity so far in the third quarter. At the same time, inventory investment and net exports are likely to drag on growth and nonresidential and residential investment are expected to be neutral for the year.
“Consumers continue to carry the economy and the earnings slowdown in the August jobs report may be an aberration in the recently improving personal income growth trend,” said Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan. “However, the declining trend in business productivity has negative implications for businesses’ profit outlook, as low productivity tends to boost labor costs, which could act as a headwind for hiring and investment. Corporate profits are down 4.9 percent from one year ago, extending their streak of annual declines. We expect nonresidential fixed investment to post a modest increase in the third quarter following three consecutive quarterly declines, while residential investment is likely to decline for the second consecutive quarter.”
“A bright spot for housing market activity is the strengthening of new home sales, which is significantly outperforming activity in recent years,” said Duncan. “The share of new home sales that are under construction or not started has climbed to nearly 70 percent, improving the outlook for single-family homebuilding. Existing home sales underperformed 2015 for the first time in July, however year-to-date sales are still 2.6 percent higher than during the same period last year. Additionally, the share of for-rent multifamily building starts has trended up with recent trends in homebuilding activity favoring the rental market.”
Visit the Economic & Strategic Research site at www.fanniemae.com to read the full September 2016 Economic Outlook, including the Economic Developments Commentary, Economic Forecast, Housing Forecast, and Multifamily Market Commentary. To receive e-mail updates with other housing market research from Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research Group, please click here.
Opinions, analyses, estimates, forecasts, and other views of Fannie Mae's Economic & Strategic Research (ESR) Group included in these materials should not be construed as indicating Fannie Mae's business prospects or expected results, are based on a number of assumptions, and are subject to change without notice. How this information affects Fannie Mae will depend on many factors. Although the ESR Group bases its opinions, analyses, estimates, forecasts, and other views on information it considers reliable, it does not guarantee that the information provided in these materials is accurate, current, or suitable for any particular purpose. Changes in the assumptions or the information underlying these views could produce materially different results. The analyses, opinions, estimates, forecasts, and other views published by the ESR Group represent the views of that group as of the date indicated and do not necessarily represent the views of Fannie Mae or its management.
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