Copyright 2017, USATODAY.com, USA TODAY, Paul Davidson: (edited for length, but not for editorial slant or content:)
Job growth (In 2017) is likely to slow as the recovery approaches its eighth anniversary, according to a recent survey of economists.
The economy is projected to grow at a 2.3 percent annual rate in 2017, up from an estimated 1.6 percent this year. That’s modestly above the tepid 2.1 percent average that has prevailed since the Great Recession ended in June 2009.
The big wild card: The Trump effect. Quick congressional passage and implementation of his plan to sharply increase infrastructure and defense spending and slash taxes could mean faster growth. But Trump’s threats to slap big tariffs on China and Mexico risk trade wars that could roil the economy.
Consumers, meanwhile, are poised to underpin economic growth again as a result of those fatter paychecks, steady job gains, record housing and stock prices, reduced debt and still-cheap gasoline. The economists surveyed by Blue Chip expect consumption to increase a solid 2.5 percent, in line with gains in 2016.
Oil prices have doubled since bottoming out early 2016, coaxing producers to revive shuttered wells and order steel pipes and other materials from U.S. factories.
Copyright 2017, USATODAY.com, Paul Davidson