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The Green Sheet Online Edition

January 14, 2019 • Issue 19:01:01

Readers Speak

What's coming in 2019?

Experts have been weighing in on what's in store for the coming year. We received a note from Diana Polk, WalletHub Communications Manager, containing the consultancy's eight Financial Predictions for 2019, as follows:

  1. U.S. GDP growth will fall to 2.5 percent: Overall, we expect GDP growth to fall slightly from 2.8 percent in 2018 to 2.5 percent in 2019, based on the projections of 10 large investment banks, the Congressional Budget Office and the Federal Open Markets Committee.
  2. Unemployment will dip below 3.5 percent: The Federal Reserve projects a 3.5 percent unemployment rate in 2019, as does Wells Fargo.
  3. The S&P 500 will top 3,000: Price targets for 2019 range from 2,750 (Morgan Stanley) to 3,350 (Credit Suisse).
  4. The Fed will raise rates twice, costing borrowers billions: The Fed’s projections indicate three more rate hikes are most likely in 2019.
  5. Credit card debt will top $1.1 trillion: The current end-of-year record, set in 2017, is roughly $1 trillion. WalletHub is projecting a $70 billion increase in credit card debt when the final score is tallied for 2018.
  6. Consumer credit scores will set another record in 2019: The average credit score rose four points during 2018, from 679 to 683, according to data from TransUnion.
  7. U.S. auto sales will fall just shy of 17 million: Technological advances continue to drive interest. And record-setting natural disasters are forcing people to replace their totaled vehicles. We don’t see much of a slowdown in 2019.
  8. Existing home sales will hit 5.5 million: Despite the Fed raising its target rate by 175 basis points from December 2015 through November 2018, the average APR on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage has increased by less than 70 basis points, according to Freddie Mac.

John S. Kiernan, WalletHub senior writer and editor, detailed the rationale and supporting data for these predictions at https://wallethub.com/blog/new-year-financial-predictions/43349/.

What do you foresee?

What's in store for the payments industry in 2019? Please send your predictions to greensheet@greensheet.com. And remember to keep your press releases coming to press@greensheet.com. end of article

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