While Presidential Election Takes Focus, U.S. Economy Slips Further

The 2016 presidential election is turning into a media circus with the US voter glued to their televisions and smartphones. The first presidential debate drew a crowd of over 84 million viewers, setting a new record in the sixty-year history of televised presidential debates. Between Trump scandals and Clinton e-mail leaks, there is a lot grabbing the attention of the country while, under the radar, the world’s largest economy is slowly slipping into a state of mild stagflation. For example, in 2013, US real GDP averaged 2.68%; it then slowed to 2.53% in 2014 before finally falling even lower to 1.88% in 2015. So far, this year, real GDP has averaged 1.1%, continuing the trend of declining growth, and is at risk of falling below 1.0% in 2017. The Atlanta Fed recently cut its Q3 real GDP forecast to 1.9%, which, if it turns out to be correct, would mark the fifth consecutive quarter of sub-2% growth, an event not seen since the 2009 recession. This trend in slowing economic growth is also visible in the payroll data. Monthly payrolls averaged 251K in 2014, 229K in 2015, and have slowed to 178K so far this year.


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