Support our nonpartisan, nonprofit research and insights which help leaders address societal challenges.Donate
2015 ended on a weak economic note. For now, consumers do not foresee the volatility in financial markets as having a negative impact on the economy. Consumer spending may, therefore, grow at a relatively decent pace in the first half of 2016, driven by strong job growth, moderate growth in incomes, and continued improvement in home building and buying. CEOs, however, are more pessimistic. Global weakness and volatility is adding to uncertainly and caution in the investment outlook. Finally, government spending (at all levels) is moderate at best. Short of some untoward development, these factors could drive the economy a little above the long-term trend rate of 2 percent this winter and perhaps into the spring.