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USA: Economic growth acceleration, more constrained monetary policy creates more flexibility in the future

The growth of GDP accelerated by 0.6% Q/Q in the second quarter (1st quarter: +0.3%) and in 2017, it could reach 2.2% above the equilibrium threshold estimated at 2%. The economic cycle is sustained by an acceleration of private consumption in the 2nd quarter of 2,8% q/q (annualised). Firms’ investments clearly increased by 5.2% q/q. The world economic recovery determined the rise of exports, which attained their maximum rate since April 2015 (May ’17: 192 billion $) and contributed to a decrease of 2.3% m/m in the monthly trade deficit.
In June, 222,000 new jobs were created by the public and the private sectors, above the so-called level of economic expansion (150,000 new jobs per month). The present unemployment rate (4,4%) almost corresponds to the full employment situation aimed by the Federal Reserve
(Fed). The economic recovery translates into a moderate wages’ increase (June ’17: +2.5% y/y) that does not generate any inflation.
In June, the Fed increased the Fed-Funds interest rate to 1,5%. Account taken of the drop of the inflation pressure (June ’17: +1.6%) and of the recent contraction of private consumption, a possible increase of interest rates is only foreseen by the end of 2017. On the path of normalising its monetary policy, the Fed plans to reduce its bonds portfolio (4,250 billion $). This measure should sustain the dollar exchanges rate, that has strongly appreciated since 2014.

September 2017

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