Survey: Economy is picking up steam

A newly resilient economy is poised to expand this year at its fastest pace since 2003, thanks in part to brisk spending by consumers and businesses, the Wall Street Journal writes.

In a new Wall Street Journal survey (subscription required), many economists increased their growth forecasts because of recent reports suggesting a greater willingness to spend.

The 51 economists polled expect gross domestic product will be 3.5% higher in the fourth quarter of 2011 than a year earlier — up from the 3.3% increase they projected in last month’s survey, the WSJ reports. That would be the largest increase since 2003. They look for GDP to expand at a 3.6% annual rate in the current quarter, accelerating from the 3.2% rate recorded in the final months of 2010.

Economists expect the unemployment rate will end the year at 8.6%—below January’s 9%, but still high by historical standards, the WSJ writes.

Since late last summer, the economy appears to have strengthened considerably, the WSJ writes. The economists put the risk of a return to recession at 12%, down from 22% in September.

The headwinds to expansion appear to be subsiding. A majority of economists say that rising commodity prices are due to supply-and-demand issues stemming from world-wide growth — not bubbles blown by monetary or fiscal policy, the WSJ writes.

And nine of 10 say the turmoil in Egypt hasn’t substantially altered their outlook, the WSJ reports.

- Henry Unger, The Biz Beat

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The Economy

February 14th, 2011
8:06 am

The Economy might be picking up a little, but unemployment is still at 17% and foreclosures increase will continue for the next 12-24 months. There is more pain to come, we are not anywhere close to exiting this mess. 3-5 yrs, thats what it will take before life becomes more clear. Oh yah, when the smoke settles, exspect a different life!

Charles

February 14th, 2011
9:01 am

Until Unemployment truly drops, the economy might gain steam on Wall Street, but not on Main Street!

Glenn

February 14th, 2011
9:22 am

The economy is improving indeed . The little business I work for has never seen an early February like this . That being said , with the years of battering the economy has taken combined with the amount of debt on the street , I doubt it will ever go back to the way it was . The spending power just won’t be there .

9% factory jobs vs 25% 1975

February 14th, 2011
9:46 am

Beautiful dreamer, that’s what you are!

9% factory jobs, 25% 1975

February 14th, 2011
9:50 am

Block it for the negative comments, huh?

ExxonMobil

February 14th, 2011
10:53 am

don’t worry we’ll put the brakes on this false pick up in business. our gas prices will go up til just a few months before the next presidential election then mysteriously they will start dropping then all you short-sighted, easily-led, if-I-don’t-look-too-closely-it’s-not-my-fault people will make the same mistakes again just like clockwork or a trained seal and elect one of our inside men a republican to the presidency. after only a short amount of time and slowly at first our boy and us will start raising gas prices. raise them so high we can afford to have all our caviar gold plated and you won’t have any extra money, AGAIN. raise prices well over 4 dollars a gallon. we’ll see if we can get away with 5 dollars. right now that’s just a wonderful dream for us. but one day we’ll make it a reality. we’ll work with our friends to skim more profits and lower your pay at work. and still you will feel obligated to defend us against any one who dares think for themselve’s. dares to admit to what we all can see.
don’t any of you people who vote for higher gas prices ever complain or whine about not having enough money for yourselve’s or your families. because if you do we will all tell you how everything is your fault. you were living beyond your means. cause after all every republican that isn’t rich is a lazy good for nothing slacker that deserves to be smited with financial ruin for their own good. any republican voter that isn’t rich is an unmotivated worthless underacheiver. remember the rich are God’s favorites and their looking out for us.

A.S.Mathew

February 14th, 2011
3:37 pm

Some steam may be seen in Washington, but smoke is in the main street.
For jobs, if it is a high paid job with graduate level degree, for every
job, 100 people will apply. The unemployment data is totally incorrect.

The economists are calculating everything in a broken calculator and
predicting: simply to give hopes, like motivating a sinking person far
away from the shore ” you are two feet away from the shore, try one more
time and you are at the shore”.

Q=control

February 15th, 2011
1:20 am

20% real unemployment, gas heading to $4.00, prices of basic food going way up, no credit, real estate prices still going down!!!

things are “picking up” === true statement!

TnGelding

February 15th, 2011
5:10 am

Commodities are up due to speculation. Why do we continue to allow this?

Many of the unemployed are unemployable; drugs, alcohol; phone addiction, poor work ethic, no job skills, etc. In short, the slackers have been eliminated. But in some cases we’ve worked ourselves out of a job with tremendous productivity increases over the last 30 years.

Destin Dawg

February 15th, 2011
6:42 am

Way too many working for US. gov’t… Washington DC. is the boom town… that is a bad thing.. only 1 in 10 US. actually has a job that produces a product…. Cut the Fed Depts. of Education, Energy, Post Office, Military, by 1/2.. End the ethanol subsidity boondoggle.. I want to eat corn, pigs, chicks.. U. S. Gov’t Gone Wild !!!

Liz

February 15th, 2011
8:05 am

Soon every tenth house will be vacant!!!