Expo Keynote Luncheon: The U.S. Economy Is Stronger Than It Looks
Despite the recent volatility in the global stock market, the U.S. economy has actually been in expansion mode for 78 months, which is about 20 months longer than the average expansion, according to The PPAI Expo’s Tuesday luncheon speaker Monica Mehta, an investor, finance expert and author of The Entrepreneurial Instinct.
In her keynote, “Recession or Progression,” Mehta discussed the overall health of the U.S. economy. She presented relevant data underlying the six barometers critical to the health of the U.S. economy: growth, the consumer, housing, financial markets, business and world economy.
Growth: Over the past 60 years, the gross domestic product (GDP), which is the total value of everything people are buying in the U.S., grew 3.25 percent. Since 2007, Mehta explains, the GDP has averaged 2.5 percent and the future prediction for the GDP is 2.3 percent.
Consumer: “The U.S. economy lives and dies by the consumer. Consumer spending is 70 percent of GDP,” Mehta says. “It’s taken six years, but consumers finally have more money to spend.”
Housing: Home prices have been rising, and as the primary source of wealth for consumers, that’s a good sign for the economy. In the top 10 housing markets, prices have risen 5.5 percent in the last year, and 35 percent since the low, but are still 11 to 13 percent lower than the peak in 2006.
Financial Markets: While volatility continues in the overseas markets and the stock market lost $1 trillion in value in the first week of 2016, “China only represents less than five percent of S&P profits, so it doesn’t have the bearing you might think,” Mehta emphasized.
Business: Manufacturing is slow because of the decline with overseas demand for American products. The energy sector has been the biggest drag on corporate earnings, while at the same time lower gas prices are good for the consumer.
World Economy: While volatility is up, China’s GDP is still predicted to grow 6.5 percent in 2016, compared to eight to 14 percent in past years. It won’t have a big effect on the U.S. economy.
In her final verdict on the state of the economy, Mehta saw moderate progression.