Illustration by Sam Peet for Fortune
By Matthew Heimer and Anne VanderMey
November 21, 2017

We polled the experts, consulted the analysts, and read the white papers. Herewith, Fortune’s best guess for what will happen to the economy in 2018.

The article is part of the Fortune 2018 Crystal Ball, our predictions for the year ahead. Find the whole list here.

Tax Reform Passes…but GDP Can’t Reach 3%

President Trump and the GOP-led Congress are able to enact some corporate tax reforms, but learn that tax cuts alone can’t quickly compensate for an aging population and an under-skilled middle class. GDP grows by 2.5% for the year.

The Federal Funds Rate lands at 2.25% the end of 2018.

Yuge economic growth remains elusive, but continued low unemployment puts enough upward pressure on wages and prices to prompt more rate hikes from the Federal Reserve and new chairman Jerome Powell. The Fed’s benchmark tops rate 2% for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis.

Oil Will Cost $55 a Barrel Next Christmas

Politics and the occasional disruptive summer storm will make the price of crude fluctuate plenty in 2018. But U.S. shale oil will keep the domestic supply flowing, putting an expiration date on any price spikes. No need to pawn the SUV just yet.

Home Prices (Barely) Rise

Zillow asked more than 100 economists and real estate experts where they thought home prices would wind up next year. The average answer? Up by 4.1%—significantly slower than the current rate of about 6.9% growth.

The U.S. IPO market jumps to life again

Last year was particularly weak for domestic IPO proceeds, at just $16.2 billion. That ticked up to a projected $39.7 billion this year, and—according to global law firm Baker McKenzie— will hit $70.9 billion in 2018. Investors will thank a robust stock market and tech companies for the boost.

A version of this article appears in the Dec. 1, 2017 issue of Fortune as part of the Fortune 2018 Crystal Ball package. Click here to see our full list of predictions.


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