BBVA Compass economists downsize outlook for U.S. GDP growth to 2.1%

- What's behind new estimate: They cite weak first quarter, lack of progress on fiscal policy

- Lower expectations: Economists say historically high market expectations will have to adjust to reflect moderate growth, tighter financial conditions and political gridlock

- Oil prices: Their new estimate for Brent crude oil prices is $6 lower than at beginning of year, reflecting uncertainty over OPEC measures to stabilize market

August 10, 2017

HOUSTON, Aug. 10, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- BBVA Compass economists, citing the weak first quarter and lack of progress on fiscal policy, have revised downward their baseline forecasts for U.S. GDP growth to 2.1 percent for 2017 and 2.2 percent in 2018.

BBVA Compass corporate logo (PRNewsFoto/BBVA Compass)

The economists say the lack of progress on policies that could boost growth, such as tax reform and infrastructure spending, is partly to blame. In the team's Third Quarter Economic Outlook, BBVA Compass Chief Economist Nathaniel Karp also explores some of the forces behind the structural, longer-lasting changes taking place in the U.S. economy that are contributing to low productivity and weak growth and challenging economists and policymakers alike.

"Although there is still time for the GOP to deliver comprehensive tax and healthcare reform, the lack of progress to date and inability to pass even partisan reforms suggests that the upside to growth is lower than it was heading into the year," BBVA Compass Chief Economist Nathaniel Karp writes in the new report. "As a result, market, consumer and business expectations, which have been historically high, will have to adjust to an environment characterized by moderate growth, tighter financial conditions and unresponsive policymakers." 

Among the other conclusions in the report:

  • Trump's economic agenda: The economists examine two pillars of Trump's economic agenda – infrastructure investments and protectionist trade policies. They find that the implementation of the president's agenda would have mixed effects on the economy.
  • Global growth: BBVA Research is forecasting a robust 3.3 percent global growth rate for 2017 and slightly higher than that, 3.4 percent, for 2018. Growth rates in both China and Europe are ticking up.
  • Oil prices: Karp and team expect Brent crude oil prices to average $51.70 a barrel in 2017. That estimate is $6 less than their forecast at the outset of the year, and reflects growing uncertainty over OPEC's strategy to stabilize the market.

To read the full report, go to bbva.info/2hnQetC.

Led by Nathaniel Karp, the bank's research team analyzes the U.S. economy and Federal Reserve monetary policy. For its analyses, the economists create models and forecasts for growth, inflation, monetary policy and industries. The Economic Research team also follows a variety of issues that affect the Sunbelt states where BBVA Compass operates. Follow their work on Twitter @BBVAResearchUSA and @BBVACompassNews.

To learn more about BBVA Compass, visit: www.bbvacompass.com

For more news visit: www.bbva.com and newsroom.bbvacompass.com

About BBVA Group
BBVA is a customer-centric global financial services group founded in 1857. The Group is the largest financial institution in Spain and Mexico and it has leading franchises in South America and the Sunbelt Region of the United States; and it is also the leading shareholder in Garanti, Turkey's biggest bank for market capitalization. Its diversified business is focused on high-growth markets and it relies on technology as a key sustainable competitive advantage. Corporate responsibility is at the core of its business model. BBVA fosters financial education and inclusion, and supports scientific research and culture. It operates with the highest integrity, a long-term vision and applies the best practices. More information about BBVA Group can be found at bbva.com

About BBVA Compass
BBVA Compass is a Sunbelt-based financial institution that operates 657 branches, including 342 in Texas, 89 in Alabama, 63 in Arizona, 61 in California, 45 in Florida, 38 in Colorado and 19 in New Mexico. BBVA Compass ranks among the top 25 largest U.S. commercial banks based on deposit market share and ranks among the largest banks in Alabama (2nd), Texas (4th) and Arizona (5th). BBVA Compass has been recognized as one of the leading small business lenders by the Small Business Administration (SBA) and ranked 5th nationally in the total number of SBA loans originated in fiscal year 2016. Additional information about BBVA Compass can be found at www.bbvacompass.com. For more BBVA Compass news, follow @BBVACompassNews on Twitter or visit newsroom.bbvacompass.com.

Any statement or opinion of a BBVA Compass economist is that economist's own statement or opinion and does not represent a statement or prediction by BBVA Compass, its parent companies or management.

 

SOURCE BBVA Compass

For further information: Kimberly Tabor, External Communications, Tel. 713 831 5511, kimberly.tabor@bbva.com


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