The state of the US economy gets very close attention from investors in the stock market. The market moved sharply lower in late December 2018 on fears of a US slowdown. More recently it bounced back strongly when the outlook became less threatening as the Fed came to share some of the market’s anxieties and indicated it would not now be raising short-term interest rates. This raises a question. Could you make a fortune buying or selling shares accurately forecasting US GDP growth rates over the next few years? The answer is a highly qualified yes. It would take very surprising (to others), very fast growth to deliver well above average returns in the stock market or, as surprising to all but yourself, very slow growth to deliver unusually poor returns. Such phases of very fast or very slow growth, which presumably could confound forecasters and investors, have in fact been rare events. Since 1967 there have only been seven recessions in the US. There have been about the same number...

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