WASHINGTON - Six factors, including a surging stock market and significantly lower interest rates, will help the next president duplicate the economic successes of the Clinton administration, according to an aggressive forecast made Tuesday by Thomas F. Carpenter, chief economist of ASB Capital Management here.
The rate on a 30-year mortgage, Mr. Carpenter predicted, will fall 30%, to 5.5%, during the next president's term, while the Dow Jones Industrial average will double to 20,000. In October, the Federal Open Market Committee is likely to drop its bias toward tightening, and will lower the 6.5% federal funds rate next year, according to Mr. Carpenter. "A sequence of consecutive reductions in the fed funds rate will provide the cheap financial fuel that will raise equity prices and bond prices to a substantial degree during the new president's first year in office," he said.
Greater production and lower demand will slash oil prices in half by yearend 2001, which will stimulate the economy much as tax cuts do, he said.
The economy, he said, will be transformed during the next administration as the Internet forces Old Economy firms to remake themselves and e-commerce accelerates transactions. Addressing a group of reporters, Mr. Carpenter noted that business done over the Internet only accounts for $70 billion of the nation's $10 trillion economy.
Gazing deeper into his crystal ball, Mr. Carpenter said he expects the North American free-trade zone to expand to include South America by 2005 and a common currency to emerge by 2010. The U.S. economy will also benefit from the success of the European Monetary Union, which will provide a "thick and broad nondollar source of cheap capital," he said.
Mr. Carpenter also predicted capital costs will be forced down as the U.S. government retires its debt and investors redirect funds. Government surpluses of up to $400 billion a year will lead to tax cuts, he said, including an elimination of the capital gains tax.
Mr. Carpenter said he expects up to 10 million new jobs to be created by 2005 when the unemployment rate drops to 2.5%, from 4% today. The inflation rate, he predicted, will be forced down to zero.