Thursday, March 06, 2008

RBC reports Brighter outlook for second half of 2008

RBC feels that the second half of 2008 will be better than the first half of this year.

Brighter outlook for second half of 2008

While the near-term outlook for the U.S. economy is decidedly bearish, our view that the Fed will cut rates by another 100 basis points provides one of the supports for our call
that the economy will recover in the second half of the year. This recovery will also be aided by an expected $150 billion fiscal package that we are assuming will make its way through Congress shortly. The fiscal stimulus package is expected to include sizeable tax rebates that will reach U.S. households by the third quarter and provide a significant boost to growth.

At the same time, efforts by the government to curb the pace of sub-prime mortgage defaults are assumed to be successful in tempering financial market volatility, limiting additional spread widening and calming equity markets.

Doses of monetary and fiscal stimulus will be enough for the economy to regain upward momentum and we forecast real GDP growth of 3।9% in the third quarter and a more moderate 1.7% in the fourth. The combination of soft first-half growth and the stronger second-half pace will result in GDP growth of 1.4% in 2008, slower than the 2.2% pace in 2007 and our previous forecast the U.S. economy would expand by 2.1% this year.

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