The US economy has undergone a series of ups and downs in recent years, and now, as we look forward to 2018, forecasts for the next few years appear to be promising, according to the Balance. It is estimated that most of the economic indicators will remain at healthy levels and perhaps experience growth by 2020. However, there are still some doubts remaining within these projections.
Generally speaking, unemployment rates are expected to drop during 2018 and 2019 before slightly fluctuating again in 2020, ultimately remaining lower than rates in 2016 and 2017. Underneath the numbers is the fact that a lot of the job growth will likely be seen in the retail and food service sectors. These jobs, of course, are low-wage positions, and these workers may not necessarily make the kind of money they would like to in other positions, and structural unemployment rates remain a significant focal point, with these notions in mind. Additionally, there are some who are working part-time who would much rather work full-time hours.
Interestingly, US-based manufacturing is expected to grow faster than the overall economy, with production figures predicted at a 2.8 percent increase. This growth would be a reversal from previous trends that indicated that this particular sector was in trouble. Now, it seems that manufacturing is on the rebound.
At the same time, crude oil prices are projected to average $57 per barrel in 2018, based on a US Energy Information Administration outlook from 2018-2050. The oil market is currently still responding to effects of US shale oil production, which resulted in reductions of 25 percent in oil prices during 2014 and 2015. However, it also resulted in an increase in profit margins thanks to lowered costs of transportation, raw materials, and food.
These forecasts in mind, no one knows what geopolitical events or domestic politics could impact how these various economic factors moving forward, and therefore every forecast should be considered with a grain of salt.