The Economy in Focus
Fourth Quarter 2019
January 14, 2020
George Mokrzan, PH.D., Director of Economics
In this edition of the Economy in Focus:
- The Huntington Private Bank Economic Forecast – An improving economic environment as policy achievements in 2020 promote long-term economic growth and monetary policy provides added stimulus
- Our Outlook is for a slow start to the year with economic growth accelerating as the year progresses
- Consumers Take the Lead in the New Decade – the strongest consumer fundamentals in decades will likely support a solid start to the United States economy in the new decade. Consumers in the Midwest have above average confidence at the start of the new decade.
- Workers are benefitting from a remarkably low unemployment rate of 3.5% -- the lowest since 1969. Surprisingly strong jobs growth in a low unemployment environment is increasing incomes and economic well-being for many individuals for the first time during the current economic cycle.
- Aggregate consumer finances are the strongest in decades.
- Housing markets growing again – Construction activity is the new bright spot in residential investment as low mortgage rates and the strong consumer spur growth. Existing home sales growth has remained relatively modest, but single-family home construction and home improvement spending are picking up broadly.
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