Year Ahead: Key Stories to Watch in 2016
If you're wondering what 2016 has up its sleeve in regards to the economy and politics, this year will be more of the same when compared to 2015, forecasts say. (That means new laws will go into effect, this time on guns, immunizations, minimum wage and more.)
As far as the economy, expect another year of sluggish growth—despite low oil prices, strong housing demand and recovering consumer demand.
Instead, economists in a Wall Street Journal survey forecast 2.6% growth, while Federal Reserve officials expect 2.3% to 2.5% growth. Both sets of forecasters predict the unemployment rate will come down to roughly 4.7% or 4.8% by the end of the year.
In recent years national unemployment has steadily declined to 5%, except in oil-dependent states like Texas and parts of North Dakota. They'll continue to experience an increase in joblessness. Expect inflation to rise to just below the Fed's 2% target.
China will be looking to manage a slowing economy as it tries to revamp its inefficient system, all while trying not to incite more worker protests. Meanwhile, in Washington, House Speaker Paul Ryan will inherit John Boehner's challenges, while President Obama can expect to continue to lock horns with less compromising Republicans. [WSJ]