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Goldman: Economy Needs to Slow Down to Avoid 'Dangerous Overheating'

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By    |   Tuesday, 06 November 2018 11:25 AM

Goldman Sachs warns that the U.S. economy needs to slow down to avoid a “dangerous overheating.”

October's jobs report shows the labor market tightening and wages rising at the fastest pace of the recovery, CNBC.com explained.

While that's all good news for now, "the economy really needs to slow to avoid a dangerous overheating," Goldman Sachs economist Jan Hatzius says.

Goldman says the Federal Reserve is taking the inflation threat seriously and will raise interest rates more than the market thinks.

To be sure, with the economy strong, wages rising and unemployment at a near-five-decade low, the Fed remains on track to keep raising interest rates — just not this week.

After the Fed’s latest policy meeting, it’s expected to signal a healthy outlook for the economy but to hold off on any further credit tightening, most likely until December, the Associated Press reported. A rate hike in December would mark the fourth this year.

Further rate increases are expected in 2019, though just how many is a subject of speculation. On the eve of Congress’ midterm elections, the U.S. economy remains vigorous even in its 10th year of expansion — the second-longest such stretch on record.

In deciding how fast or slowly to keep raising rates, the Fed will be monitoring the pace of growth, the job market’s strength and gauges of inflation for clues to how the economy may evolve in the coming months. The brisk pace of economic growth — a 3.5 percent annual rate in the July-September quarter, after a 4.2 percent rate in the previous quarter — has raised the risk that inflation could begin accelerating.

In its most recent forecast, the Fed projected that it would raise rates three additional times in 2019. Some economists, though, foresee only two hikes. Others expect economic growth to remain solid and the job market strong and that the Fed will decide that four rate increases will be justified next year to guard against high inflation. At 3.7 percent, the unemployment rate is already at its lowest level since 1969.

“The Fed is going to have to continue raising rates next year because the unemployment rate is going to keep falling to close to 3 percent, well beyond full employment,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. “There is nothing but green lights for more rate hikes straight ahead.”

Meanwhile, the U.S. economy is expanding at a 2.9 percent annualized rate in the fourth quarter, following the latest data on trade balance and domestic payrolls, the Atlanta Federal Reserve’s GDPNow forecast model showed on Friday.

This was slower than the 3.0 percent pace for fourth-quarter gross domestic product that Atlanta Fed’s GDP program calculated on Thursday.

The U.S. trade deficit rose to a seven-month high in September as imports surged to a record high amid strong domestic demand, offsetting a rebound in exports.

The Commerce Department said on Friday the trade gap increased 1.3 percent to $54.0 billion, widening for a fourth straight month. Data for August was revised to show the trade deficit rising to $53.3 billion instead of the previously reported $53.2 billion.

The trade deficit continues to deteriorate despite the Trump administration’s protectionist trade policy, which has left the United States locked in a bitter trade war with China as well as tit-for-tat tariffs with other trade partners, including the European Union, Canada and Mexico.

The politically sensitive goods trade deficit with China jumped 4.3 percent to a record high of $40.2 billion in September. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the overall trade deficit rising to $53.6 billion in September.

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Economy
Goldman Sachs warns that the U.S. economy needs to slow down to avoid a “dangerous overheating.”
goldman, economy, overheating, slow
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2018-25-06
Tuesday, 06 November 2018 11:25 AM
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