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.