A Weaker Economy Than Anticipated - 4/21/15
A considerable volume of economic data have collectively indicated a weaker economy than anticipated. Coming into the year, many economists had predicted that twenty fifteen would be the first year since two thousand and five that U.S. output would climb by more than three percent. Impressive job growth was supposed to bolster wage growth. Faster wage growth coupled with lower fuel prices were to accelerate retail spending, which in turn would help increase investment.
But a series of headwinds conspired to keep growth in check during the early months of the current year. Nasty weather clearly played a part, with construction workers relegated to breaking ground on seventeen percent fewer homes between January and February. Steep snowfalls in the north and dangerous ice storms in the south also helped to keep shoppers at home, with retail sales falling short of expectations for most of this year.
A stronger U.S. dollar has also frustrated export growth. Falling energy prices have curtailed investment in key economic segments. As reported in the Associated Press and according to Baker Hughes, an oilfield services company, the number of active rigs has declined 50 percent since October.