USA:n talous vedenjakajalla

2011 NÄKYMÄT: Yhdysvaltain talous on aloittamassa vahvemman ja kestävämmän kasvun, jossa kuluttajat ovat avainasemassa.

Robert Johnson, CFA 31.12.2010
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Mitä tapahtuu maailmantaloudessa ja finanssimarkkinoilla vuonna 2011? Tässä artikkelissa Yhdysvaltain kansantalouden tapahtumia ennustaa Morningstarin taloustutkimuksen johtaja Robert Johnson, CFA. Artikkeli on aiemmin julkaistu sisarsivustollamme Morningstar.co.uk.
 
I have long talked of the virtuous cycle of an economic recovery, where increased consumer spending leads to more production that in turn leads to more employment and more income that leads to more spending. Once the process is set in motion, it is indeed hard to break.

Although we have seen that cycle begin, I believe the economy is now at a tipping point, about to move into a stronger, more sustainable recovery. Until the third quarter of 2010, consumer spending had been increasing at a steady but anaemic 2% pace, which was not enough to really get the virtuous cycle going with gusto. The cycle was slowed due to remarkable productivity gains during the recession and consumers propensity to spend a lot of their extra dollars on foreign goods. However, things began to change in the third quarter of 2010 as consumer spending accelerated to almost 3%, and early reports suggest it could accelerate to as much 4% in the fourth quarter driven by the strongest holiday season since 2005. And, recent trade data suggest that more of those dollars are being spent on US products as well.

A lot of firms probably could limp along at 2% consumption growth without having to hire a lot of new people, given a typical 1% productivity increase and the fact that some of that demand was satisfied by overseas factories. However, with 3% to 4% growth, better hiring rates are in the cards. Higher employment levels and higher asset prices, combined with a substantial (though largely unrecognised) improvement in consumer financial positions and lower payroll taxes should continue to drive the consumer forward in 2011.

GDP Could Accelerate to 3.5%-4.0% in 2011; Unemployment Could Fall to Under 9%
A strong consumer is the backdrop for my forecast for 2011 GDP growth of 3.5% to 4%, versus just under 3% for 2010. In 2011, the economy will derive more of its growth from revitalised consumer and business spending than from the inventory adjustments that were such an important part of 2010's results.

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Robert Johnson, CFA  Robert Johnson, CFA, is director of economic analysis with Morningstar.

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