U.S. Has Company

By Andrew Paparozzi
In July 25, 2008

The latest Current Economic Conditions by Federal Reserve District, commonly referred to as the Beige Book, generally reported economic activity in each of the 12 Districts as weakening, softening, sluggish, or moderating. There were exceptions, Districts in Cleveland and Minneapolis reported slight increases in economic activity, while Dallas indicated that growth was steady. By and large, the report portrayed a weak economy. Strong demand for exports remains one of the few bright spots. Will it continue?

It should. Despite all the focus imports and the trade deficit, many U.S. goods and services are quite competitive internationally. Nonetheless, demand for U.S. exports from Europe and Japan could subside somewhat as both are confronting weak economies and rising costs. Given the high value of the euro, we tend to forget that European economies aren’t doing that well and could be slipping into recession—in some part because of the high value of the euro. The Japanese economy isn’t doing all that well either.

As for the U.S., data continue to show weakness in the economy, but upside surprises now and then are beginning to take the edge off the gloom and doom scenarios. And the large drop in oil prices doesn’t hurt. The latest consensus forecast from Blue Chip Economic Indicators has GDP adjusted for inflation rising 1.6% in 2008 and 1.7% next year. Not roaring growth, not even satisfactory growth, but growth.

Joseph Vincenzino

Andrew Paparozzi

Epicomm's Andrew Paparozzi, Vice President/Chief Economist, is well-known for his accurate and thoughtful discussions on the economy and US commercial printing industry. A foremost author and speaker on economic business trends in the printing industry, Paparozzi heads Epicomm's Printing Economic Research Center.

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