Economic Outlook: Rebounding from the Winter Doldrums

Are we seeing transitory losses, or deeper signs of a weakened recovery?


May 14, 2014- CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–In the May issue of Themes on the Economy®, Mesirow Financial’s Chief Economist says that just as expected, “Harsh winter weather deferred and displaced, but did not destroy, economic activity in the aggregate.” Instead, “we shifted activity from the first to the second quarter and from the Midwest and East to the South and West,” as consumers have been migrating to warm weather and ski resorts, spending money at restaurants far from home.



California Dreamin’
I woke up one morning with a song repeating in my head:

All the leaves are brown,
and the sky is gray
I’ve been for a walk
on a winter’s day

I’d be safe and warm
if I was in LA
California dreamin’
on such a winter’s day

The Mamas and Papas 1965 hit… resonates today. The economy came to a virtual standstill in the first quarter, adding insult to injury to an economy still struggling to recover.

Harsh winter weather deferred and displaced, but did not destroy, economic activity in the aggregate

Diane Swonk adds that, “Business investment is expected to reaccelerate… Recent orders data suggest that businesses are finally shifting from repairing to replacing their equipment.” As for another key driver of spending, “Tight inventories in both the existing and new housing markets are expected to continue to put upward pressure on home values and trigger an uptick in housing construction.”

Consumers and businesses will both be watching the Federal Reserve, looking for hints of when interest rates may be moving higher. The forecast from Mesirow Financial’s economic team indicates that, “In mid-2015, the Fed is expected to start raising rates, albeit slowly… Short-term rates are likely to remain well below the 4% ‘norm’ well into 2016.”

Read the complete report, Rebounding from the Winter Doldrums in Themes on the Economy for May.  




Mesirow Financial is a diversified financial services firm headquartered in Chicago. Founded in 1937, it is an independent, employee-owned firm with approximately 1,200 employees globally. With expertise in Investment Management, Global Markets, Insurance Services and Consulting, Mesirow Financial strives to meet the financial needs of institutions, public sector entities, corporations and individuals. For more information about Mesirow Financial, visit its website at