|Economic activity is projected to pick up in 2014 once the effects of severe winter weather dissipate. Given ample corporate cash flow and an improved demand outlook, business investment should accelerate significantly. Sizable gains in asset prices have boosted household wealth, which, combined with steady progress on the labour market, should provide support to private consumption and residential investment.
Fiscal contraction is creating less of a drag on economic growth, although further consolidation at a slower pace will be needed to ensure fiscal sustainability. Monetary policy appropriately remains very accommodative, with slack remaining in the labour market and inflation remaining weak. The Federal Reserve began the process of reducing the pace of its asset purchases, which should continue through most of 2014. It will be appropriate to keep policy rates low for some time, but they are expected to begin to rise by mid-2015.
Note: All data definitions based on internationally comparable standards and may differ in specific cases from common national definitions.