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Analysts anticipate a slowdown for the economy in the latter half of 2017, with housing having less bearing on growth due to constraints in supply, according to Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research (ESR) Group’s recently released Economic and Housing Outlook for July 2017. The Outlook maintains the economy will grow 2.0 percent over the course of the year, but also projects a delayed key interest rate hike.

“While second quarter growth is poised to rebound, we expect growth to moderate through the remainder of 2017,” says Doug Duncan, chief economist at Fannie Mae. “Consumer spending, traditionally the largest contributor to economic growth, is sluggish and is lagging positive consumer sentiment and solid hiring. While labor market slack continues to diminish, wage growth is not accelerating and inflation has moved further below the Fed’s target. These conditions support our call that the Fed will continue gradual monetary policy normalization, announce its balance sheet tapering policy in September, and wait until December for additional data, especially on inflation, before raising the fed funds rate for the third time this year.”

The Outlook projects home sales, total, to grow 3.3 percent in 2017.

“Construction activity has lost some steam following the first quarter’s weather-driven boost,” Duncan says. “Meanwhile, very lean inventory continues to act as a boon for home prices and a bane for affordability, particularly among potential first-time homeowners. According to our second quarter Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey, lenders expect to ease credit standards further; however, we continue to project that the pace of growth in total home sales will slow to 3.3 percent this year, as we believe rapid home price gains amid scarce supply will remain a hurdle for potential homebuyers, despite improvements in credit access.”

Source: Fannie Mae

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