Oil’s drag on economy unlikely to bring recession, PNC economist predicts at Pittsburgh session

Low oil prices will continue to be a problem for the economy and contribute to slower job growth this year but won’t be enough to plunge the nation into recession, a PNC economist said Friday.

“Energy is important to our economy in Southwest PA, but for the U.S. economy generally, energy is still only a couple percentage points of employment and GDP,” said Bill Adams, senior international economist at PNC, during a Friday morning presentation to the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh. “I still think that we can see moderate overall economic growth in our country despite the headwinds from the energy sector.”

PNC economists expect that GDP growth in 2016 will be 2 percent and that employment growth will slow to 160,000 jobs per month, after averaging more than 200,000 per month in 2015. And the unemployment rate will decline to its a prerecession level of 4.7 percent by the end of the year.

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