2018 Economic Outlook

2018 economic outlook: A cautiously optimistic tale

Wells Fargo economists share their thoughts on the U.S. and global economies.

December 27, 2017

Sometime in 2018, Wells Fargo economists expect the U.S. economy to best the 120 consecutive months of gains seen in the 1990s, according to the 2018 Annual Economic Outlook (PDF) from the Wells Fargo Securities Economics Group.

“We are implicitly saying that this cycle will break the record for the longest expansion in U.S. history,” said Chief Economist John Silvia.

The growth, however, is the lowest in postwar history — about 2.5 percent a quarter. Still, the growth is expected to continue uninterrupted into 2019, said Silvia, Senior Economist Mark Vitner, Global Economist Jay Bryson, and other economists in the group’s report.

Mark Vitner, John Silvia, and Jay Bryson share their thoughts on the 2018 U.S. and global economies. (7:17)

Titled “A cautious tale for an economic outlook,” the report calls for three rate hikes in 2018 as the Federal Reserve continues its delicate balancing act of increasing interest rates to stave off inflation while dialing back its level of intervention in the economy. The economists’ report follows 2018 outlooks from Wells Fargo Investment Institute and Wells Fargo Asset Management, which focused on investors.

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