Bureau of Business Research


Date of this Version



Business in Nebraska vol. 68, no. 706


Copyright 2013 by Bureau of Business Research, University of Nebraska.


U.S. Macroeconomic Outlook

The U.S. economy continues to grow at a steady, moderate pace. But, important changes underlie this growth. Federal discretionary spending is contracting while the private economy is growing and continuing its transformation and recovery. A transformation is occurring towards an economy with larger energy and technology sectors and growing manufacturing and agricultural exports. There is also a recovery in the housing sector. This recovery is driving growth in construction employment, household durable goods sales, the home improvement market, the real estate sector and the financial services sector.

Steady employment growth and recent improvements in hourly wages also are supporting modest expansion in overall consumer spending. Further, nascent recovery in the European economy will encourage renewed growth in business investment over the next few years. Yet, a variety of public policy issues are holding back even faster private sector growth. Bond purchases by the Federal Reserve Bank will be curtailed late this year as the federal government completes fiscal contraction via its Sequester budget cuts. Declining bond purchases will replace the current fiscal drag with a monetary drag on growth. Both efforts are required for long-term macroeconomic stability and investor confidence but will provide a modest drag on current growth.

Construction and Mining



Transportation and Utilities


Wholesale Trade

Financial Services

Retail Trade


Personal Income


Nonfarm Personal Income

Farm Income

Net Taxable Retail Sales

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