During the past few years, most news coverage regarding the U.S. economy has focused on its considerable successes, namely the sustained patterns of job growth and minimal unemployment present in the American labor market since 2016. These are hardly the only areas in which the U.S. economically excelled over this span of time - they are simply the most easily quantified metrics. However, one of the International Monetary Fund's most economically savvy executives recently predicted that the U.S. could see some slackening in its economy despite the recent years of robust activity, based on issues facing the business world at large.
IMF Chief Economist Maurice Obstfeld, who will retire from the global economic organization when 2018 ends, said that international economic stressors had too massive an effect not to reach the U.S. in at least some ways, in an interview with Financial Times.
"For the rest of the world there seems to be some air coming out of the balloon," Obstfeld told the news provider. "That will come back and also affect the U.S."
On a more specific level, Obstfeld pointed out that some of the factors driving American economic performance in recent years, including government spending hikes and major tax cuts for business owners, would see their effects diminish simply as a result of passing time. As such, the slowdown they cause isn't particularly troubling.
Issues affecting European and Asian markets, meanwhile, particularly those directly or indirectly related to U.S. trade conflicts with nations on those continents, may bring more substantive panic to international businesses and their leaders. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and other notable trading indicators have been quite volatile in recent weeks.
Some experts don't share the concerns of the economic players noted above. CNBC reported that in a recent note Goldman Sachs issued to its investors, the prominent investment bank and brokerage claimed high consumer spending due to growth in Americans' disposable incomes would fuel the country's economic strength even when other expected market drivers might lose some of their effectiveness.