Forecaster of the Month: First-quarter slump won’t snowball into something worse, JPMorgan’s Feroli says

Drew Angerer/Bloomberg
Michael Feroli, chief U.S. economist at JPMorgan Chase

The U.S. economy has obviously slowed down from the stimulus-fueled 3%-ish pace of 2018, but the slump is “not snowballing into something worse,” says Michael Feroli, chief U.S. economist at JPMorgan Chase and the winner of the Forecaster of the Month contest for data that was supposed to be released in January.

The economy will stabilize in 2019 into trend-like growth, he forecasts.

The slowdown was predicted by just about everyone, but everyone was caught just a little off-guard by the way it has unfolded. A sharp (and really inexplicable) downturn in retail sales in December is leading forecasters to mechanically cut their forecasts for first-quarter growth, fueling a lot of talk about how this might be the end of the longest expansion in U.S.

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