Consumer Optimism: A Self-fulfilling Prophecy in 2015

Consumer Optimism: A Self-fulfilling Prophecy in 2015
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Consumer Optimism: A Self‑fulfilling Prophecy in 2015

Recent economic reports highlight the positive momentum coming from U.S. consumers. As the chart above shows, until recently U.S. consumers have remained far less optimistic than in past periods of economic expansion, likely as a result of high unemployment and concern about the health of the global economy. But late last year there was a surge in both optimism and consumer spending – while overall GDP growth was held down by a deterioration in the trade balance and weakness in government spending, personal consumption expanded at the fastest pace since 2006. With sentiment remaining buoyant on the back of strong job growth and low oil prices, we expect strength in consumption to drive above-potential growth in the U.S. economy over the balance of 2015.

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