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Economic Outlook

Outlook Tilts Improvement

While the vast majority of firms expect either stability or improvement in the U.S. economy in 2017, the percentage expecting further gains moves notably upward from last year’s dip (57% vs. 41%) to the highest level of optimism since the recovery from the Great Recession began.  A similar trend appears for the U.S. real estate market, with more expecting improvement than did last year (55% vs. 43%) and similar to expectations in 2013-2015 (52%-60%). Both fall in recovery/growth ranges, indicating an expansion/growth market for the coming year.  The vast majority of firms expect improvement in their company’s overall financial performance this year, similar to post-recession levels, with nearly all anticipating improvement or stability.

  • Across company size, nearly two-thirds or more of firms anticipate better performances in 2017. Around half of mid-size and small firms expect improvements in emerging economies and in developed economies around the world, while large firms are even more optimistic (66% & 60%). However, expectations for the U.S. economy trend a bit higher for mid-size and small firms compared to international projections and are similar for large firms, with roughly six out of ten across sizes expecting improvements domestically.
  • Overall, 2016 was a positive year. Experiences line up with projections for 2017 across firms of all sizes in regards to company performance, the U.S. economy, U.S. real estate, and emerging and developed markets. Generally, greater percentages of large firms reported improvements across domestic and global economic zones and in the U.S. real estate market last year. Large firms also appear to be carrying the highest levels of optimism about emerging and developed global markets, but expectations for 2017 are similarly positive across firms of all sizes regarding their company’s performance, the U.S. economy, and real estate.
Question 15-1
Rating of company's overall financial performance in 2016
Chart Q15
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Question 15-2
Rating of emerging global market economies in 2016
Chart Q15-2
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Question 15-3
Rating of developed global market economies in 2016
Chart Q15-3
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Question 15-4
Rating of U.S. economy in 2016
Chart Q15-4
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Question 15-5
Rating of U.S. real estate market in 2016
Chart Q15-5
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Question 16-1
Anticipated overall financial performance of company in 2017
Chart Q16
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Question 16-2
Anticipated emerging global market economies in 2017
Chart Q16-2
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Question 16-3
Anticipated developed global market economies in 2017
Chart Q16-3
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Question 16-4
Anticipated U.S. economy in 2017
Chart Q16-4
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Question 16-5
Anticipated U.S. real estate market in 2017
Chart Q16-5
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