Mike Walden: Has the Economy Shifted into Higher Gear?

Mike, there is renewed optimism about the economy going into the end of the year.  The unemployment rate is nearing 4%, a level many economists associate with full employment.  In the two most recent quarters the economy has been growing at an annual rate of 3% or better, 50% higher than in recent years.  And both consumer and business confidence readings are high.  Should we be optimistic?

 

Mike: Summary Answer

  1. yes, I think so
  2. the keys have been continued job growth and somewhat better income growth
  3. have motivated consumers to spend more, which helps business and creates a

virtuous circle

  1. higher stock market has helped
  2. but quick to say – prosperity isn’t everywhere and for everyone
  3. what could tip the apple cart?
  4. stock market decline, overleverage by consumers, foreign even