Worried about the economy? Here are 5 top growth stocks with bright futures

Unemployment is tipped to rise and the Aussie economy could be hitting a rough patch. It's time to consider the prospects of companies like Slater & Gordon Limited (ASX:SGH), Credit Corp Group Limited (ASX:CCP) and Burson Group Ltd (ASX:BAP).

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Has more than 20 years of recession-less Australia made us complacent?

Rising house prices are a 'sure thing', right?

According to a recent Fairfax media article, China's hyper-industrialisation has kept our miners busy by pushing up commodity prices to unprecedented highs.

It kept our country in good stead throughout the GFC, when all those around us fell to their knees – some of which are still down for the count.

As any seasoned investor – or eighth grade economics student will tell you – high prices in a competitive industry leads to oversupply. Prices then fall, mines shut and people lose jobs.

For Australia the rapid downturn in global prices of iron ore, oil and coal was never going to make a transition to the 'non-mining sector' easy.

Therefore its little wonder unemployment – currently 6.3% – is expected to rise in 2015, house price growth is slowing and consumer and business confidence is taking a hit.

Whilst the government's real GDP growth forecast for 2014-15 remains unchanged at 2.5%, there are many reasons to believe the our economy could be entering a rough patch.

Although I believe this should never command our investment decisions, as long-term investors, we do need to be conscious of the macroeconomic environment. Not only will it help us avoid poor investments like Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG), which is down 54% for the year, it can also help us identify beneficiaries of the likely future trends.

Indeed if unemployment rises, I'm tipping debt collectors like Credit Corp Group Limited (ASX: CCP) and Collections House Limited (ASX: CLH) will find their services in greater demand. And right now, they're trading cheap. Currently they both offer dividend yields of 4.2% fully franked and trade on a price-earnings ratio of 12.

An outside choice for the trend of rising unemployment and record household debt levels, is FSA Group Ltd (ASX: FSA). The $140 million company helps people negotiate and manage debt repayments; and helps businesses with cash flow management. It's slightly higher risk than Credit Corp and Collections House but is offering a 5.4% fully franked dividend, trades on a P/E of 10 and management recently updated profit guidance.

For investors who don't want to sacrifice on growth, yet want to add a counter-cyclical element to their portfolio, Burson Group Ltd (ASX: BAP) is an obvious choice. The auto parts dealer is a well-run business and since listing in April, has risen 21%.

Finally law firm Slater & Gordon Limited (ASX: SGH) is a top stock pick for 2015 and beyond. It has the leading personal injury firm in Australia but can pursue multiple growth options over the medium to long term, with both a UK expansion and push in general legal services underway.

Investors need to be conscious of trends and cycles for a number of reasons. However the basis of our investment should never be formed simply on macroeconomic trends. Instead focus on the underlying business and make conservative forecasts over the long term (five years of more) to determine fair value. Then, once the price is right and you've prepared yourself to hold through times of heightened volatility, hit the buy button.

Motley Fool Contributor Owen Raszkiewicz owns shares of Slater & Gordon and Burson Group. He has a beneficiary interest in Collections House. The Motley Fool owns shares of Burson Group. You can follow Owen on Twitter @ASXinvest.

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