US, World Economy Show Strong Signs of Growth, Economist Says - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

US, World Economy Show Strong Signs of Growth, Economist Says

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After years of no growth or slow growth, things are turningaround and 2014 should be a good year, a Huntington National Bank economistsays.

George Mokrzan, director of economics for Huntington NationalBank, provides economic analysis and commentary to management and clients. Hisspecialty is in macroeconomics, international economics and econometrics.

 "I have the mostpositive forecast that I've had in many years," Mokrzan said in an interviewlast week.

Mokrzan said he expects the U.S.economy to grow 2.7 percent this year. That should provide a lift to thehousing market, he said. Also, employment should be at an all-time high, hesaid.

Businesses are seeing good cash flow and balance sheetgrowth, he said. The recovery in the Eurozone should continue this year, andsome Latin American economies should do better, he said.

"Overall, a lot of positives are coming together," Mokrzansaid.

Energy should be a growth industry this year as both the U.S.economy and the overall world economy improve, Mokrzan said.

There are problems with several hotspots in the world, headded.

"As long as those are contained to those geographic areas,that should not pose a problem to the world economy," Mokrzan said. "It'simportant for policymakers to contain those events so they don't spread."

And Chinais showing a slowdown in growth, which will reduce overall demand there, hesaid.

The soft spot in all this is at the household level, Mokrzansaid. Real per capita income in the United States grew only 2.76 percent from December2007 to December 2013, he said.

"Going forward, taxes and inflation could be a biggerconstraint as well in real spending power," Mokrzan said.

Consumers who benefit from financial assets will be thedrivers of the economy, he said. Wages should improve as the number of jobsincreases, he said. Mokrzan said he expects to see growth this year in personaldisposable income.