The World Bank is upbeat about America’s growth prospects. After several years of cautioning that GDP growth would remain low, the group announced new predictions of 2.2 percent annual growth for 2017 in the U.S.
The World Bank attributes much of this growth to more aggressive government spending, with a primary focus of President-elect Donald Trump’s economic plans. “Fiscal stimulus in major economies — particularly in the United States — could generate faster domestic and global growth than projected, although rising trade protection could have adverse effects,” the World Bank said in a statement.
America’s strong growth rate is expected to help global growth rise by 2.7 percent in 2017. “After years of disappointing global growth, we are encouraged to see stronger economic prospects on the horizon,” World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said. “Now is the time to take advantage of this momentum and increase investments in infrastructure and people.”
Strong economic growth could improve firms’ revenues and earnings, which in turn would boost equity indexes in America. ETFs exposed to American firms include Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI), Vanguard 500 ETF (VOO), SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY), SPDR S&P 500 Buyback ETF (SPYB) and Direxion Daily Small Cap Bull 3X ETF (TNA).
Developed markets beyond the U.S. are also expected to benefit from a reversal of recent economic weakness. If the World Bank’s predictions come true, it could be a boon to Lattice Developed Markets (ex-U.S.) Strategic ETF (RODM) and The European Equity Fund, Inc. (EEA).
Despite the rosy outlook, World Bank’s Kim cautions that political resistance to spending programs could cause GDP growth to disappoint. “Nevertheless, the outlook is clouded by uncertainty about policy direction in major economies. A protracted period of uncertainty could prolong the slow growth in investment that is holding back low, middle and high income countries,” he said.