Despite a slowdown in the final quarter of the year, the U.S. and California economies generally outperformed expectations in 2005, shrugging off soaring energy costs, rising interest rates, and the impacts of three major hurricanes on Gulf Coast states. Recent monthly data on spending, employment, and production suggest that the softness that occurred in late 2005 will be short-lived, and the economy will expand at a moderate pace in 2006 and 2007. This outlook is subject to significant downside risks, however, associated with the potential for further increases in energy prices and steeper-than-expected declines in the real estate market.