Given the events of a decade ago, 2018 promises to be a year filled with reminiscence. Chroniclers will recall the signs of the gathering storm: falling U.S. house prices, rising mortgage defaults and spreading institutional failures.
For more than a year, the U.S. Dollar (USD) has been losing value relative to most other currencies. When asked about this trend this week in Davos, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin seemed unconcerned, and even supportive.
Most central banks have targets, too. And judged solely by the numbers, monetary policy would be assigned a substandard rating.
As it is for people, so it is for business cycles, which can become more vulnerable as they continue. This theory will certainly be tested in 2018. The global economy enters this year with considerable momentum and lots of policy support.
The economic news this year could scarcely have been better. Strong growth, low inflation and rising asset prices in major markets will make 2017 one of the most successful years in recent memory.
Times have changed, in more ways than one. This December has been especially hectic, with the transition in Brexit negotiations, U.S. tax reform debate and Bitcoin setting new highs every few minutes.
We’re thankful for this year’s economic growth in the U.S., which has exceeded most expectations. A soft first quarter has been followed by two quarters in which real activity expanded at an annual pace exceeding 3%.