The overall economy appears to be in good shape as the year draws to a close …
The fourth quarter of the year is coming together about as expected. Growth of economic output (real GDP) should exceed 4% by a narrow margin, about half the third-quarter surge but still quite a positive performance.
Furthermore, payroll job growth almost certainly will be modestly positive, following nine consecutive quarterly declines, as growth in labor productivity slows down to a more sustainable pace (about 2.5%). And the unemployment rate is destined to come in a bit below the third-quarter average (6.1%), despite an increase in the average length of the workweek and a pickup in the labor force prompted by more promising labor market conditions.