First National Bank of Omaha recently gave a detailed forecast of how they view the economy. Their 2019 Wealth Outlook forecasts a modest GDP Growth of 2%, with a strong consumer sector still intact. The Chief Investment Officer Kurt Spieler stated, “The U.S. economy was relatively strong in 2018, and we think growth will continue in 2019. However, our expectation is that economic activity will decelerate this year. We believe the driver of the ongoing expansion will come from the consumer sector, which accounts for approximately 70% of economic activity.”
The report predicted that job growth will continue along with wage increases. Strong consumer spending will be a major catalyst to sustainable growth, according the report. Additionally, the bank predicts that businesses will continue to spend and invest due to high margins.
This flies in the face of some economists who do not see U.S. growth as sustainable, and point to global risk. The first National Bank of Omaha sees the primary risk really being potential mistakes from the Federal Reserve monetary policy, as well as the “deceleration of global economy activity.”
The company, however, does not see the risk as high and any risk is manageable over a long period. The Frist National Bank of Omaha is a subsidiary of First National of Nebraska, which has more than $23 billion in assets with branches and customers in Nebraska, Colorado, Illinios, Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota and Texas. The report was published primarily for clients focused on wealth management and growth.