It’s often said that economists are pretty good at coming up with questions, but not as adept at coming up with answers. It’s a fair charge, to which I’d occasionally have to plead guilty.
In that spirit, here are some questions (along with my attempt at responses) about key economic themes for the months ahead:
How will the Fed operate under new management?
Janet Yellen’s ascension to the helm at the Federal Reserve will be closely watched. The process of tapering the central bank’s asset purchases began late last year, and is projected to continue steadily in coming quarters. While Yellen’s views may influence the pace of exit, the progression of the U.S. economy will be the biggest consideration.
Will politics muddy the economic waters?
2014 includes key elections in many parts of the world, not the least of which is the mid-term balloting in the United States. This may create some policy uncertainty, especially as we approach the Treasury’s debt ceiling in early spring.
Will Japan continue its recovery?
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has succeeded in ending deflation and promoting stronger Japanese growth. Ahead lies some structural reform of the Japanese economy, though, which may prove challenging.
Will America continue to enjoy an energy boom?
U.S. production of crude oil and natural gas has been surprisingly strong, thanks to advanced technology for identifying and harvesting reserves. This has produced a cost advantage for manufacturers and helped hold inflation down. But other countries are looking to take advantage of their own resources, which may level the playing field.
Can Europe end its malaise?
Great Britain seems to have nice economic momentum, but the eurozone continues to struggle. Freeing the flow of credit by shoring up weak banks will be a central effort for Europe this year.
Has China peaked?
Chinese economic performance over the past generation has been remarkable, and growth there will continue to exceed that of the United States. But problems like pollution, shadow banking, a housing bubble, and competition from Asian neighbors may slow China’s pace.
I’m sure there will be other questions that arise during the course of 2014, and we look forward to asking and answering them for you.(Click image to enlarge)
Not FDIC insured | May lose value | No bank guarantee
An investment in Northern Funds is not insured by the FDIC, and is not a deposit or obligation of, or guaranteed by The Northern Trust Company or any affiliate. An investment in Northern Funds involves risks, including possible loss of principal.
Please carefully read the prospectus and summary prospectus and consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of Northern Funds before investing. Call 800-595-9111 to obtain a prospectus and summary prospectus, which contains this and other information about the funds.
Shares of the Northern Funds are offered only by a current Prospectus and are intended solely for persons to whom shares of US registered funds may be sold. This site shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy nor shall there be any sale of shares of the Northern Funds in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful.
©2016 Northern Funds | Northern Funds are distributed by Northern Funds Distributors, LLC, not affiliated with Northern Trust.