Economists See Brighter Outlook for Jobs, Housing

A new survey of 54 economists provides a fairly optimistic outlook for the remainder of this year and 2013, with moderate growth in jobs and consumer spending anticipated.
Those surveyed raised their average monthly jobs outlook for 2012 to 188,000 (non-farm payrolls), up from the 170,000 anticipated in the previous survey.
Even the still-depressed housing market gets a dose of optimism from the latest survey by the National Association for Business Economics.
Housing starts are expected to increase 18 percent in 2012. The economists expect housing starts will reach 720,000 units in 2012, up from 610,000 in 2011, and a slight upward revision from February’s survey forecast.
The survey, covering the outlook for 2012 and 2013, was conducted April 19- May 2, 2012.
“Expectations for housing, vehicle sales, employment, and industrial production all improved in the current survey,” said NABE Outlook Survey Chair Shawn DuBravac, chief economist at the Consumer Electronics Association. “However, expectations for overall economic growth as measured by inflation-adjusted gross domestic product, business investment, and consumer spending remain below historical norms.”
Economists are less optimistic about investment spending for 2012. The projection for real spending growth on non-residential structures for 2012 was lowered from 4.2 percent in February to 2.9 percent in May – but was increased for 2013 to 5.5 percent.
Founded in 1959, NABE is the professional association for those who use economics in their work. Its membership numbers 2,400 members with 33 chapters nationwide.

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