The Real Economy Livestream series

Middle market outlook: Gearing up for 2024

Recorded December 20, 2023

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Labor and workforce Economics Inflation

In America’s real economy, growth and resilience as a new year arrives

The American economy has defied expectations of a recession over the past year as a strong labor market, declining inflation and resilient growth have all laid the groundwork for continued expansion in the coming year.

In a recent wide-ranging conversation about the state of the economy and the middle market, RSM Chief Economist Joseph Brusuelas and U.S. Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President Neil Bradley offered an optimistic outlook for 2024.

For example, Bradley cited the demand for electrical hookups that an energy supplier is seeing as a reflection of the broad-based growth taking place. It’s the kind of growth that is happening across regions and sectors of the economy.

“This is extraordinary,” Brusuelas said. “For most of our careers, growth has been driven by the financial sector. But this is being driven by the real economy, from the inside out.”

Still, public sentiment has been slow to catch up. Even though inflation has been receding, consumers aren’t necessarily feeling it yet. And Bradley cited a disconnect between businesses’ perceptions of the health of the overall economy, which they view as weaker, and the prospects of their own businesses, which is strong.

Looking to next year, Brusuelas sees a further easing of inflation and the start of rate cuts by the Federal Reserve.

Check out the full recording to learn more:

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Special report

2023 RSM US Middle Market Business Index Special Report: Funding

Rising real interest rates are pushing up the cost of commercial and industrial loans, making it harder for
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Find out how businesses are coping with the higher cost of capital in our special report.

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The Real Economy Blog was developed to provide timely economic insights about the middle market economy. It is offered as a complement to RSM’s macroeconomic thought leadership, including The Real Economy monthly publication and the proprietary RSM US Middle Market Business Index (MMBI).

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