Market Report, "United States Business Forecast Report Q1 2014", Published

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Boston, MA -- (SBWire) -- 11/22/2013 --We remain positive on the growth trajectory for the US economy over the next several years, as we believe that many structural factors are aligning for a period of sustained growth, underpinning our forecast for real GDP growth to average 2.4% per year from 2013- 2018, up from 0.8% per year from 2008-2012. The labour market recovery has further to go, meaning that modest increases in job creation will prove to be a boon to spending over the medium term.

Additionally, the cyclical components of GDP remain quite low as a share of the economy but have begun to turn higher, and improving trade dynamics will help reduce the drag of net exports on growth.

Our view for a narrowing US current account as a percentage of GDP deficit continues to play out, largely on the back of falling energy prices and higher domestic production. We believe export growth will generally outpace import growth over the medium term, and expect broad stability in the financial account.

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Data continue to support our view that stronger revenues and an abrupt slowdown in spending will help to narrow the US fiscal shortfall in 2013 to 3.7% of GDP from 6.7% of GDP in 2012, a trend that we forecast will continue in the years ahead. As a result, we also forecast that the ratio of debt to GDP will stabilise and hold steady around 70% over the next few years.

Major Forecast Changes

We have revised down our end-2013 and end-2014 unemployment rate forecasts from 7.5% and 7.2% to 7.2% and 6.8% respectively on the back of stronger than expected job gains and our view for accelerating economic growth over the coming quarters.

Key Risks To Outlook

Downside Risks To Growth Forecast: There are growing political risks that could weigh on growth in the final quarter of the year and into 2014, posing downside risks to our 2013 and 2014 real GDP forecasts of 1.8% and 2.8% respectively. The failure of the US Congress to pass spending bills resulted in a government shutdown that started October 1, a development that could cause significant disruption to both consumer behaviour and business spending.

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