Robert “Tim” McGee, an economic forecaster with Bank of America unit U.S. Trust, was the guest speaker for the Pasco Economic Development Council’s 2020 Economic Forecast Luncheon. The luncheon was part of the Greater Pasco Chamber of Commerce’s Business Development Week.

LUTZ – The Pasco Economic Development Council helped bring the Greater Pasco Chamber of Commerce’s Business Development Week to a positive ending as it hosted its annual Economic Development Luncheon on Jan. 31.

The guest speaker for the occasion was Robert “Tim” McGee, director of macro strategy and research for U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management.

“What we try to do is look at the global markets and the global economy and see if there are things that are changing that mean we should change our asset allocation,” McGee explained.

McGee, who is based in New York City, said the forecast for this year is the global economy “is going to grow a little bit faster than it did last year.”

He said last year’s global growth rate was down slightly under 3 percent.

“This year, it’s expected to pick up about half a point higher than that,” McGee said. “What we’ve been seeing when we look at all the indicators of leading growth momentum is that growth will continue.”

He noted the U.S. Gross Domestic Product number for the fourth quarter of 2019 was up a little over 2 percent.

“For the year as a whole, it is 2.3 percent, which is down from 3 percent the year before, so we have had a deceleration in growth over the last year,” McGill said. “We are beginning to see signs that is turning around and growth will get a little higher as the year progresses.”

He said the GDP outlook is “generally bullish” for the financial markets and stocks.

“We saw the U.S. markets hit a bottom in August, and started to go up fairly strongly in the past few months,” McGee said. “This is largely in response to this evidence that economic growth is picking up, which means that earnings will pick up.”

He said earnings had been slightly down last year, “but are expected to pick up with the economy.”