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The Conference Board Economics Watch® United States View

2018 still looks like a strong year for the US economy, even though both consumption and investment numbers may start the year weaker than expected. With labor markets tight enough to possibly fuel wage growth acceleration, and tax cuts and increased federal spending providing the economy with an additional tailwind, both shoppers and firms should raise activity levels soon. Fiscal expansion, though, is not costless--interest rates on corporate and mortgage borrowing are likely to rise as the Federal Reserve raises rates to control inflation risks. New steel and aluminum tariffs provide an additional downside risk, especially if they are a harbinger of more restrictive US trade policy.

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