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Use select charts from the Guide to the Markets to engage in portfolio discussions.

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The U.S. economy

Since the last recession, the U.S. economy has more than recovered its lost output, pushing equity markets to new highs, in spite of persistent investor skepticism. This is why it is important to maintain perspective. Despite some headwinds and negative headlines, the economic expansion looks poised to continue.

Economic Expansions and Recessions
Long-term drivers of economic growth
 
  • From the mid-1950s to the mid-2000’s, U.S. annual real GDP growth averaged 3.4%, with 1.7% growth in the number of workers and 1.7% growth in the output per worker.
  • Over the past decade, GDP growth has fallen to just 1.6% as retiring baby boomers have crimped labor supply and a lack of capital spending has hurt productivity.
  • These trends are likely to continue in the decade ahead, limiting GDP growth to less than 2%.
  • Despite the expected downshift in growth, American companies are masters at generating shareholder value and should continue to thrive.
Discussion Slides
Economic growth and the composition of GDP
Consumer finances
Cyclical sectors

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