It is said that economics is “the dismal science,” one often prone to gloomy projections in a world whose human inhabitants tend to consume more than they produce.
Unfortunately, the annual economic forecast offered Thursday by the Kelley School of Business did little to dispel this dour notion, as scientists from the Indiana Business Research Center expect only 2 percent or less growth nationally during 2017.
“The U.S. economy during 2016 has underperformed, even relative to our diminished expectations a year ago,” said Bill Witte, associate professor emeritus of economics at IU. “Looking to the future, we see little reason for any real optimism, but we do think the economy will continue to muddle through, matching the past year, or perhaps do a little better.”
However, the news is somewhat better for Indiana. According to research center Director Timothy Slaper, the state should begin outperform the rest of the nation thanks to a greater demand for its goods and services.
“We currently forecast that 2016 will close out with real economic growth of 3 percent, compared to between 1.6 and 2 percent nationwide,” Slaper said. “Indiana has trailed the United States in GDP growth in four of the past five years but is expected to grow at a slightly faster rate than the U.S. through 2018.”
Thursday morning marked the start of the Kelley School’s annual Business Outlook Tour at the Conrad Indianapolis Hotel, followed by a noon presentation at the Indiana Memorial Union in Bloomington. Sponsored by Kelley, the IU Alumni Association, IU campuses statewide and numerous organizations, the tour features panelists from the Kelley School and IU, along with local panelists from other IU campuses and other universities.