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article imageNYU Stern economic forum says to curb your (economic) enthusiasm Special

By Stephanie Grayson     Sep 4, 2014 in Business
New York - The economy seems poised to improve, but will the changes coming be bold enough to be felt on "Main Street"? A special report for Digital Journal with comments from top economists and photos from NYU Stern's September 3, 2014 Economic Outlook Forum:
Curb Your (Economic) Enthusiasm
It was a packed house at NYU Stern's auditorium as the prestigious New York University business school hosted a "Economic Outlook Panel" with economists Vincent Reinhart and Julia Coronado along with professors Kim Schoenholtz and David Backus on September 3, 2014. In 2014, the economy has become a topic as likely to be discussed over cocktails as it is at an economic conference, so it should come as no surprise it was so well-attended.
While many of the statistics and theories discussed at the podium during the program are already quite familiar to those in economics circles — I lost count of just how many times Larry Summers' buzzphrase "secular stagnation" was mentioned — what proved in some ways more interesting was the "Question and Answer" opportunity that followed the main program.
It was during this portion of the evening that I approached the economists to ask their thoughts about what all of this might mean for Main Street during the remainder of 2014 and also regarding the year ahead. I sought to find out their views of if and how our neighbors, family and friends might feel the effects of the economic changes to come.
The answers that followed were of the 'restrained optimism' variety.
Coronado  Schoenholtz  Reinhart  and Backus at the Economic Outlook Forum at NYU Stern on September ...
Coronado, Schoenholtz, Reinhart, and Backus at the Economic Outlook Forum at NYU Stern on September 3, 2014
Backus  Schoenholtz  Coronado  and Reinhart at the Economic Outlook Forum at NYU Stern on September ...
Backus, Schoenholtz, Coronado, and Reinhart at the Economic Outlook Forum at NYU Stern on September 3, 2014
Reinhart  Schoenholtz  Coronado at the Economic Outlook Forum at NYU Stern on September 3  2014
Reinhart, Schoenholtz, Coronado at the Economic Outlook Forum at NYU Stern on September 3, 2014
According to Vincent Reinhart, Managing Director and Chief U.S. Economist at Morgan Stanley, the average American is unlikely to experience any dramatic shift during the remainder of 2014 and into 2015. "Income distribution and wealth distribution are concentrated.... [and] employment gains and wage gains are subdued," said Reinhart. "There may be some rebound from the first quarter, and it [the economy] will continue to get better over the next year and half, but the gains will be modest," he added.
Another top economist present felt similarly. According to Julia Coronado, Chief Economist at Graham Capital, the US economy will likely continue to improve, but that improvement is unlikely to have a bold effect on the average American since it will be more of a "muddling along" and "not a big pop." In the coming year, the economic situation will get only "a little bit better," she explained.
Back to the question initially posed: If the economy seems poised to improve, will the changes coming be bold enough to be felt on "Main Street"?
Given the responses from these top economists, when it comes to setting expectations about upcoming improvements in the economy, perhaps it's best to curb your enthusiasm.
Schoenholtz  Coronado  Reinhart  and Backus at the Economic Outlook Forum at NYU Stern on September ...
Schoenholtz, Coronado, Reinhart, and Backus at the Economic Outlook Forum at NYU Stern on September 3, 2014
Associated Links for further information:
NYU Stern Economic Outlook Forum event page
New York University Stern School of Business homepage
Graham Capital
Morgan Stanley
Professor Kim Schoenholtz's New York University page
Professor David Backus' New York University page
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