Economic Outlook

Outlook Tilts Toward Stability Over Improvement

While the vast majority of firms expect either stability or improvement to the U.S. economy this year, the percentage expecting further gains dips considerably from the past three years of recovery (41% vs. 51%+). A similar trend appears in relation to the U.S. real estate market; the number of firms expecting more improvement trends lower than in the past three years (43% vs. 52%+). Neither expectation falls within previous recessionary territory, and they may indicate stability rather than expansion/growth for the coming year. The vast majority of firms expect improvement in their overall financial performance this year, similar to post-recession levels, with nearly all expecting improvement or stability. Generally, any expectations for a leveling out in the U.S. economy or real estate markets do not dim a company’s individual prospects.

  • Across company size, nearly two-thirds or more of firms anticipate better performances in 2016. About half expect improvements in emerging economies and in developed economies around the world. However, expectations for the U.S. trend a bit lower, with around four out of ten firms across sizes expecting improvements.
  • Overall, across firms of all sizes, 2015 experiences line up with projections for 2016 in regard to company performance, emerging and developed markets. For the U.S. economy, however, while 45% of mid-size and 56% of large firms saw improvement to the domestic economy in 2015, only 38% and 40%, respectively, project further gains in 2016. The outlook for the U.S. real estate market plays out similarly—49% of mid-size firms and 57% of large firms saw improvement in 2015, but only 40% and 44%, respectively, expect the same for 2016. Generally, higher percentages of mid-size and large firms expect stability rather than growth domestically.
  • Expectations for global markets differ from the domestic outlook and trend a bit more growth-oriented for 2016. Small and large firms are the most optimistic regarding emerging markets, with half or more expecting improvement. Half of firms across all sizes project gains in developed global economies this year.
Question 15-1
Rating of company's overall financial performance in 2015
Chart Q15
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Question 15-2
Rating of emerging global market economies in 2015
Chart Q15-2
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Question 15-3
Rating of developed global market economies in 2015
Chart Q15-3
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Question 15-4
Rating of U.S. economy in 2015
Chart Q15-4
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Question 15-5
Rating of U.S. real estate market in 2015
Chart Q15-5
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Question 16-1
Anticipated overall financial performance of company in 2016
Chart Q16
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Question 16-2
Anticipated emerging global market economies in 2016
Chart Q16-2
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Question 16-3
Anticipated developed global market economies in 2016
Chart Q16-3
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Question 16-4
Anticipated U.S. economy in 2016
Chart Q16-4
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Question 16-5
Anticipated U.S. real estate market in 2016
Chart Q16-5
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