Old man winter was a colossal pain for mere mortals, and it delayed the economic recovery in 2014, according an economic forecaster at Morgan Stanley,MarketWatch reported.
The slow start to the year, with gross domestic product likely contracting in the first quarter, means growth in 2014 won't hit the 3 percent pace that Morgan Stanley's Ted Wieseman and many other economists had expected. In fact, the economy may grow less in 2014 than the 2.6 percent growth posted in 2013.
Wieseman said the evidence is clear that the economy has bounced back from the sluggish pace of the winter months. He's forecasting 3 percent growth for the second half of the year. The acceleration in growth was only delayed by a quarter, not derailed.
His growth case for the rest of the year hinges on several factors: reduced fiscal drag, the ongoing improvement in households' debt load, increased consumer wealth, demographic demand for more housing, and pent-up demand for capital investment.
Except for mortgages, credit availability is now back to pre-crisis levels, Wieseman said.
"We've left the legacy of the recession in the rearview mirror," Wieseman said.