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A Housing Economist Shares What He Expects For the Rest of 2016

Sep 7 2016

The year is more than halfway over, and with events like the Brexit behind us (for now), the good news is that housing continues to grow, according to Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist.

“Slowly, but it is growing,” he says.

While business investments are struggling, consumer spending is boosting the economic outlook for 2016. With “quite strong” signals in the second quarter, the hope is consumer-spending strength will continue in the third quarter. The full-year economic growth outlook remains 1.8 percent, Duncan says, with consumers the primary driver of that growth.

Household balance sheets are strong, according to Duncan, and the savings rate is between 5 and 6 percent, which is near long-term averages.

“There’s some reason to believe consumers are now more resilient and have strength to support consumption,” he says. “Whether they have the confidence to do that or not is another question. Current data suggest they do.”

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