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Key Takeaways & Insights

Amid the ongoing trade dispute, businesses appear hesitant to invest in long-term capital projects. This reluctance is holding the U.S. economy back from reaching its 2.5%-3% GDP growth potential. Get more insights in our December Monthly Outlook.


  • Disappointing business spending on longer-term capital projects is holding back the U.S. economy from achieving its 2.50% – 3.00% GDP growth potential. The reluctance stems primarily from the uncertainty around the trade wars and their impact on global economic activity.
  • The Fed is likely at or near the end of its downward “mid-cycle” adjustment but has left room for additional cuts should trade negotiations collapse, or the economy slows to recessionary levels.
  • Intermediate and longer-term U.S. rates may decline slightly over the coming months as economic indicators provide inconsistent fourth-quarter results. Reasonably strong economic growth next year should put upward pressure on rates, with the 10-year Treasury approaching 2.00% during the first quarter.

Meet the Author

Ben Pace

Partner & Chief Investment Officer

Ben is the Chief Investment Officer and a Partner in the New York office. He leads the firm’s Investment Committee and is a member of the Executive Committee. He has more than thirty-five years of experience in investment management. Ben has been featured in the Wall Street Journal and Reuters, and is a frequent commentator on Bloomberg TV and radio, Fox TV and CNBC, appearing regularly on network programs such as Power Lunch, The Closing Bell, Squawk Box, and Worldwide Exchange.

Prior to joining Cerity Partners, Ben was Chief Investment Officer and Head of Global Investment Solutions for Deutsche Bank Private Wealth Management in the U.S. In his role as CIO, he sat on the PWM Global Investment Committee, providing input on the U.S. economy and capital markets. He oversaw the investment strategy and asset allocation for PWM clients in the U.S. As Head of Global Investment Solutions, he brought together PWM’s capital markets and investment capabilities in an effort to provide an effective and consistent experience for clients. Prior to joining Deutsche Bank in 1994, he managed equity income funds for two investment organizations. During his tenure with those institutions, he also served as a securities analyst with a particular emphasis on the financial services and healthcare industries.

He earned his Bachelor of Arts in economics from Columbia University and Master of Business Administration in finance from New York University.

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