Uncertain Outlook for US Economy: What’s Ahead?
Cameron Mitchell, the owner of dozens of restaurants, is seeing diners opt for less expensive outlets. Despite the current economic uncertainty, Mitchell says there are still opportunities to be had. The outlook is shared by chief economist Philip Shepherdson of Pantheon Macroeconomics, who is surprised by some people's optimism. Steve Hill, CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, shares the sentiment that people are looking for experiences more than things.
However, Walmart, the nation's largest retailer, is projecting only modest sales growth this year, and CEO Doug McMillon notes shoppers are focusing on basic necessities. He told analysts that customers are still spending money, but it's not clear what the rest of the year will look like.
Mitchell adds his own opinion on the matter, saying people are becoming less tolerant of price increases and wanting inflation to come down. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve is raising interest rates in an effort to keep prices in check, which is weighing on the stock market.
Recruiters at the Mega South Florida Job Fair in February of 2023 were speaking to job seekers, as employers added over 500,000 jobs in January. In normal times, this would be a welcome sign for an economy that is heavily dependent on consumer dollars. However, all that spending could cause inflation to rise at a time when the Federal Reserve is trying to keep prices in check.
Many people saved extra during the pandemic, and while the bank balances have gone down, Americans still have a lot of cash on hand. Wells Fargo economists estimate that households still have about ten months of spending power if they continue to deplete their savings at the same rate.
Overall, the outlook for the U.S. economy is still a bit uncertain. There are both positive and negative signs, and it remains to be seen what the future holds.
0. “Despite high inflation, Americans are spending like crazy – and it's kind of puzzling” KDLG, 25 Feb. 2023, https://www.kdlg.org/as-heard-on-npr/2023-02-25/despite-high-inflation-americans-are-spending-like-crazy-and-its-kind-of-puzzling
1. “Despite high inflation, Americans are spending like crazy – and it's kind of puzzling” WAMU 88.5, 25 Feb. 2023, https://wamu.org/story/23/02/25/despite-high-inflation-americans-are-spending-like-crazy-and-its-kind-of-puzzling/
2. “Despite high inflation, Americans are spending like crazy – and it's kind of puzzling” WBUR News, 25 Feb. 2023, https://www.wbur.org/npr/1159284378/economy-inflation-recession-consumer-spending-interest-rates
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