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Economic growth was stronger than anticipated in the second half of 2013. The acceleration of consumer spending in Q4, boosted by gains in the equity markets and home prices, a pop in export growth, and a strong build in business inventories buoyed economic activity. As fiscal headwinds subside, consumer and business confidence improves, and the strong rebound in the housing market continues, we expect the faster pace of economic growth to continue into 2014. Downside risks remain, however, including the potential for a damaging reverberation from the financial fallout in the emerging market economies.