Home Daily Blitz The Great OK: U.S. Economy Muddles Along

The Great OK: U.S. Economy Muddles Along


marketwatch articleThe following is an excerpt from Jeffry Bartash | March 13, 2016 | MarketWatch.com |

U.S. interest rates remain extremely low and that can only mean one thing: The economy isn’t growing fast enough to justify making it more expensive to borrow.

The Federal Reserve is expected to stand still and leave interest rates unchanged after bank VIPs meet this week. Nor are any of the economic reports on a busy calendar likely to give them any reason to act differently.

Retail sales in February, for example, are forecast to turn negative. A pair of surveys of American manufacturers are likely to remain under water. And inflation shows little sign it’s about to soar — what would be a sure sign of an economy catching fire.

Instead the economy has caught a bit of a chill. Growth softened to 1% in the final three months of 2015 and the new year has gotten off to a plodding start. The U.S. probably will grow faster in the first quarter, but economists are forecasting a mild 2.3% advance in gross domestic product.

Chief economist Robert Dye of Comerica Bank calls the current era “The Great OK.”

Yes, the economy is growing at a 2% pace. And yes, the economy is producing a healthy 200,000-plus jobs a month, which has knocked the unemployment rate down to an eight-year low of at 4.9%.

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