Mitt Romney says Barack Obama's policies will consign the U.S. to an extended period of sluggish economic growth, at best. The president says his Republican challenger's plans will sow the seeds of another mammoth recession. Both are wrong, according to Bloomberg.
No matter who wins the election tomorrow, the economy is on course to enjoy faster growth in the next four years as the headwinds that have held it back turn into tailwinds. Consumers are spending more and saving less after reducing their household debts to the lowest level since 2003. Home prices are rebounding after falling more than 30 percent from their 2006 highs. And banks are increasing lending after boosting equity capital by more than $300 billion since 2009.
"The die is cast for a much stronger recovery," said Mark Zandi, chief economist in West Chester, Pa., for Moody's Analytics Inc. He sees growth this year and next at about 2 percent before doubling to around 4 percent in both 2014 and 2015 as consumption, construction and hiring all pick up.
The big proviso, according to Zandi and Yale University professor Ray Fair, is how the president-elect tackles the task of shrinking the $1.1 trillion federal budget deficit. The Congressional Budget Office has warned that the U.S. will suffer a recession if more than $600 billion in scheduled government spending reductions and tax increases -- the so-called fiscal cliff -- take effect next year. Read more.