“Cautious Optimism” and Crossed Fingers Characterize End-of-Year Predictions

In the U.S., The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) increased 0.9 percent in October following a 0.7 percent increase in September, and no change in August. According to Conference Board economists, “The LEI suggests the U.S. expansion continues to be strong… the upward trend in the LEI points to continued economic growth through the holiday season and into early 2015.”

At the same time, The Conference Board predicts global economic growth is poised to hold at 3.4 percent in 2014--barring major geopolitical upheaval. With the outlook relatively upbeat, the coming year should be a favorable time for businesses to invest in people, raise productivity, and rebuild public trust and confidence.

Kiplinger’s is even more positive, declaring the “U.S. Economy: Leader of the Pack—Uncle Sam pulls away from the rest of the world.” The article in the January 2015 issue declares: “The U.S. economy, having found its footing in 2014, will gain momentum in 2015, even as Europe struggles to stay out of recession… Kiplinger expect the economy to grow 3 percent or better in 2015. That’s the best annual growth rate since 2005.”