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Buoyant Outlook for the 2024 Economy

Kathy Monte
Buoyant Outlook for 2024 Economy

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Fourth-quarter gross domestic product estimates in the U.S. have risen, jobless claims have remained low and inflation has receded, all good news for the trade show industry as it heads into 2024. 

Goldman Sachs Chief Economist Jan Hatzius says there is just a 15% chance of a U.S. recession in 2024, down from the 35% possibility he predicted in January 2023. A recession will be averted, barring any unforeseen crisis. 

One of the reasons inflation has dropped is because of declining gasoline prices. According to Kiplinger’s Economic Outlook, inflation dropped to 3.1% in November 2023 from 3.7% in September. Gasoline prices fell 6% in November, and inflation is predicted to drop to 2% before the end of the summer 2024.

In addition, travel is up. According to a Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Intrepid Travel, more than half of the respondents plan to prioritize travel next year over non-essential luxuries. The poll also found that four in five U.S. adults (80%) plan to take a vacation or leisure trip in 2024.

Related. Thanksgiving Weekend Travel and Spending Report Shows Economic Resilience 

As a result of this promising news, consumer confidence has grown. In the most recent survey by nonprofit business research organization the Conference Board, economic optimism is at its highest since July.

Investors are hopeful the Federal Reserve will be able to navigate a so-called soft landing for the U.S. economy in 2024, and begin cutting interest rates sooner rather than later. In addition, the Fed recently has modified its economic projections and no longer anticipates a U.S. recession. 

Plus, the S&P 500 is on track to close out 2023 up more than 20%, and much of the late-year gains are likely based on growing expectations for Fed rate cuts in 2024.

Although the trade show industry has dealt with a global pandemic, inflation, wars and geopolitical tension, it has recovered and returned to growth-mode. 

“All of this is quite remarkable. It speaks to the power of our industry and our business model. We build and operate marketplaces and meeting places where people come together in person. The value of that simple model has been proven once again,” Kai Hattendorf, managing director and CEO of UFI, said. 

Reach Kai Hattendorf at    

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