Key Economic Indicators
U.S. current gross domestic product should total $19.8 trillion in 2018 complimenting a 3.62 percent compounded annual growth
rate (CAGR) from 2014 2017. U.S. real domestic product is expected to total $17.5 trillion in 2018 reflecting a 2.21 percent CAGR
during the 2014 2017 period. Since the economic recovery began in 2009, the U.S. economy has realized favorable changes in key
economic data as noted in the chart below. Some of the most notable changes in the 3-year compounded growth rates occurred in
motor vehicle parts manufacturing (3.9 percent), retail sales (3.04 percent) and disposable income (3.33 percent).
Just like last year’s report, the U.S. dollar in 2017 has increased favorably against most of the major currencies and is expected to
remain strong in 2018. The U.S. national debt continues to grow in real and nominal terms presenting a burden to the U.S. taxpayers
and hinders economic growth. A strengthening U.S. dollar in the second half of 2017 and into 2018 reduces the cost of foreign
imports ranging from oil and steel to minerals and automobiles. However, a more valuable U.S. dollar means that many U.S. exports
will cost more to purchase. From its Great Recession low of below 50 in 2009, consumer confidence reached 123.1 in December
2017 and is expected to continue trending upward in 2018 to 129.
This summary was prepared by Dr. Timothy G. Nash, Vice President and Director of the McNair Center at Northwood University.
2014 2015 2016 2017
(2014-2017) Assessment
Gross Domestic Product and Components
Gross Domestic Product (GDP); Nominal$17,427.6$18,120.7$18,624.5$19,390.6$19,875.4 3.62%
Gross Domestic Product (GDP); Real$16,013.3$16,471.5$16,716.2$17,096.2$17,523.6 2.21%
Inflation Rate0.8%0.7%2.1%2.1%2.4%1.63%
U.S. National Debt (Nominal)$18,141.4$18,922.2$19,976.8$20,492.7$21,664.0 4.15%
U.S. National Debt as a Percent of GDP104.1%104.4%107.3%105.7%106.0%0.51%
Personal Consumption Expenditures$11,863.7$12,332.3$12,820.7$13,395.5$13,917.4 4.13%
Durable Goods$1,296.4$1,367.1$1,411.0$1,473.8$1,676.04.37%
Nondurable Goods$2,674.1$2,666.0$2,710.4$2,821.5$2,931.201.80%
Gross Private Domestic Investment$2,817.3$2,879.2$2,905.7$3,011.1$3,124.4 2.24%
Government Expenditures (Billions of Current Dollars)$3,968.6$4,061.5$4,210.1$4,354.8$4,417.0 3.14%
Trade Balance-$490.3-$500.4-$504.8-$568.4-$514.55.05%
Total Exports$2,375.9$2,263.9$2,208.1$2,331.6$2,401.5 -0.63%
Total Imports$2,866.2$2,764.4$2,712.9$2,900.0$2,916.0 0.39%
Interest Rates (Change in points )
Prime Rate3.25%3.26%3.51%4.50%5.00%11.46%
Federal Funds Rate0.09%0.13%0.39%1.00%1.25%123.14%
Manufacturing Indicators
Industrial Production Indexes (2002 = 100)
Motor Vehicle Parts Manufacturing (average)114.4124.8128.3128.3128.43.90%
Tire Manufacturing (average, 2012 = 100)95.596.790.087.987.5-2.71%
Purchasing Managers Index (average)
55.6 51.4 51.5 57.5 58.0 1.15%
Consumer Information
Retail Sales (Billions of Current Dollars)
$4,639 $4,727 $4,863 $5,075 $5,325 3.04%
Disposable Personal Income (Billions of Current Dollars)$13,032.6$13,615.0$13,968.6$14,379.0$14,844.03.33%
Civilian Unemployment Rate (Change in points)
6.2% 5.3% 4.9% 4.4% 4.1% -10.80%
Consumer Confidence Index (for December)
93.1 97.8 113.7 123.1 129 9.76%
Housing Starts (Thousands of Units)
1003 1112 1174 1203 1213 6.25%
Producer Price Indexes
Total Manufacturing (Dec. 1984 = 100)195.5185.5181.9188.3194.5-1.24%
Diesel Fuel (June 1985 = 100)299.6181.3143.5185.7210.5-14.74%
Consumer Price Indexes (1982-84 = 100)
All Items236.7237.0240.0245.1252.11.17%
Motor Vehicle Parts and Equipment144.8144.2143.6143.0144.0-0.41%
Exchange Rates (Units per U.S. Dollar)
Broad Index (Jan. 1997 = 100)104.03117.06122.48122.13122.605.49%
Canada Dollar1.101.281.321.301.315.55%
China Yuan6.166.286.646.766.403.12%
European Union Euro (U.S. Dollars per Currency Unit)1.331.
Japan Yen105.74121.05108.66112.10110.001.97%
Mexico Peso13.3015.8718.6718.8818.9212.39%
Key Economic Indicators (Billions of chained 2009 Dollars adjusted for inflation, unless otherwise noted)
Notes: na = not available. Historical data have been revised. = Favorable condition for motor vehicle aftermarket
= Indeterminate trend - should monitor
= Unfavorable condition for motor vehicle aftermarket
Sources: Auto Care Association’s Industry Indicators Report, U.S. Department of Commerce
Federal Reserve Board 4
U.S. Department of Labor
Institute for Supply Management 5
The Conference Board
U.S. Census Bureau
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