What is the economic outlook for 2023?


As we approach the end of 2023, it’s crucial to understand the economic landscape that has unfolded throughout the year. This article will provide a comprehensive overview of the global and US economic outlook for 2023, highlighting key trends, challenges, and potential solutions.

Global Economic Outlook
The global economy has experienced a series of ups and downs in 2023. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), global growth is projected to fall to 2.9 percent in 2023, a slight decrease from the previous year. This decline is attributed to various factors, including policy tightening aimed at reducing inflation, which has cooled economic activity.

Emerging markets and developing economies have also seen a modest decline in growth, from 4.1 percent in 2022 to 4.0 percent in 2023. This is due to the increasing concerns about geoeconomic fragmentation and disruptions to global trade in commodities.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom. The IMF also projects that global growth will rise to 3.1 percent in 2024. This is partly due to China’s recent reopening, which has paved the way for a faster-than-expected recovery.

US Economic Outlook
In the United States, the economic outlook for 2023 is mixed. The Conference Board forecasts that real GDP will grow by 2.4 percent in 2023, before falling to 0.8 percent in 2024. This is due to a combination of factors, including elevated inflation, high interest rates, dissipating pandemic savings, rising consumer debt, and the resumption of mandatory student loan repayments.

Despite these challenges, US consumer spending has held up remarkably well in 2023, and residential investment, which had been contracting since 2021, began to grow again in Q3 2023. This resilience is expected to prevent overall economic growth from slipping too deeply into contractionary territory and facilitate a rebound next year.

Looking Ahead
Looking into late 2024, the volatility that dominated the US economy over the pandemic period is expected to diminish as the economy emerges from recession. In the second half of 2024, overall growth is forecasted to return to more stable pre-pandemic rates, inflation will drift closer to 2 percent, and the Fed will lower rates to near 4 percent. However, due to an aging labor force, tightness in the labor market is expected to remain an ongoing challenge.

What is GDP?
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the total monetary or market value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country’s borders in a specific time period.

What is inflation?
Inflation is the rate at which the general level of prices for goods and services is rising, and subsequently, purchasing power is falling.

What is the Fed?
The Federal Reserve System (Fed) is the central banking system of the United States. It’s responsible for setting monetary policy, including controlling interest rates.

What is the IMF?
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an international organization that provides financial assistance and advice to member countries. It aims to promote international economic cooperation and stability.

What is geoeconomic fragmentation?
Geoeconomic fragmentation refers to the breaking up of the global economy into smaller, regional economies due to factors like trade disputes, economic policies, and geopolitical tensions.

What is policy tightening?
Policy tightening, often referred to as monetary tightening, is a course of action undertaken by a central bank such as the Fed to constrict spending in an economy that is seen to be growing too quickly, or to curb inflation when it is rising too fast. This is often done by raising interest rates.