How Have Changing Sectoral Trends Affected GDP Growth? (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, 5 min read)

(You can read the article by clicking here)

While trend GDP growth in the US averaged 3.3% from 1950 to 2016, it has dropped to 1.7% since the 2000s. This article explores whether specific sectors are to blame. The authors especially focus on spill-over effects and ask, if productivity falls in one sector, to what extent does that indirectly hinder other sectors too? They find three culprits: construction, which is the biggest negative contributor due to its extensive links with most production; nondurable goods; and professional services. Taken together, these account for about 60% of the total decline in trend growth.

Why does this matter? The centrality of construction for trend growth helps explain why the 2007-2008 housing and banking crisis has cast such a long shadow over growth. For the future, it is worth picking growth index measures apart and focusing on re-booting the correct sectors.  

(The commentary contained in the above article does not constitute an offer or a solicitation, or a recommendation to implement or liquidate an investment or to carry out any other transaction. It should not be used as a basis for any investment decision or other decision. Any investment decision should be based on appropriate professional advice specific to your needs.)

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