Americas: Economic overview

March 2017

The economy of the United States is expected to expand despite the prospect of further monetary tightening.

The US Federal Reserve increased its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points in March - its first rise in 2017. The US economy’s consistent growth is giving the central bank confidence to conduct two more rate increases this year. Monetary policy in the US has been loose since the 2008 financial crisis. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects the US economy to expand by 2.3% in 2017 compared with 1.6% in 2016, and it has also upgraded its forecast for 2018 from 2.1% to 2.5%. The growth will further boost US gas demand, especially from the industrial sector.

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