WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA and TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 8, 2012) - Dr. Sherry Cooper, Chief Economist, BMO Financial Group, has joined the American Bankers Association's Economic Advisory Committee, a renowned group of bank economists that meets twice a year to provide perspectives on the U.S. and local economies to top policymakers and to produce an economic forecast.
Dr. Cooper just completed two days of meetings in Washington, D.C. with the members of the committee and key officials including the Federal Reserve Governors and chief economists of Fannie Mae and the Senate Banking Committee.
"I'm very proud to have the opportunity to contribute to this important group of economists," said Dr. Cooper. "I'm particularly happy to see the incredible work by my team at BMO Financial Group recognized in this way."
As part of the meetings, Dr. Cooper and BMO Capital Markets Economics provided their own forecast for the U.S. economy. "We see continued modest growth of 2.2 per cent this year and next, with the unemployment rate falling only slightly," she said. "Healthy business investment, improved household finances and a firmer housing market will provide support, but higher taxes and reduced government spending, alongside eurozone jitters, will weigh.
"Our 2013 outlook assumes that lawmakers agree to allow just one-third of the scheduled tax increases to take effect. The outlook also assumes that Europe will manage to control its debt crisis, preventing further challenges to global financial markets," noted Dr. Cooper.
Dr. Cooper also predicted that consumer spending would stay at a modest 2.2 per cent rate this year and next, and that the housing market is now showing good affordability and pent-up demand that are supporting the market.
Dr. Cooper leads a highly respected economics team at BMO Financial Group. She has repeatedly been called one of the most influential women in Canada. She is a popular speaker, frequently quoted by the media, and has published three books. She received the Lawrence Klein Award for U.S. forecasting accuracy in 2010, beating out a panel of 50 economists with her predictions for the four-year period from 2006 to 2009. She began her career at the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, D.C., and then joined Fannie Mae as director of financial economics, prior to working at Burns Fry in Canada.
Dr. Cooper provides her observations on the committee's meetings over the past two days in her latest Bottom Line article, which can be downloaded at www.bmocm.com/economics.
About BMO Financial Group
Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly-diversified North American financial services organization. With total assets of $525 billion as at April 30, 2012, and more than 46,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.