Entries in Economic Growth (18)


More Optimism About Economic Growth in 2013, Survey Finds

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- More economists are raising their forecast for growth this year.

A new survey by the National Association for Business Economics finds that 50 percent of corporate economists now think the economy will expand by 2.1 percent or better in 2013.  That's up from 36 percent last October.

"We're seeing slow but certainly steady progress on a lot of fronts," says Tom Gill, the director of economics at the National Electrical Manufacturers Association.

Gill, who oversees the survey, says one of the bright spots is the jobs market.

"The labor market is really gaining momentum.  There was very positive news looking ahead there.  A larger share of firms now expect to expand their payrolls in the next six months," he says.

Gill expects sales at many companies to rise this year.

"We've seen wage and salary gains pick up in the fourth quarter, which is a positive for consumer spending going forward.  Which has ramifications for overall growth in sales," he says.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


US Economy Not Making Rapid Growth Soon, Economists Say

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Will the U.S. economy get better soon?  

Yes, but not by much, according to a new survey of business economists out on Monday.  Forecasters from the National Association for Business Economics expect only modest growth in the first half of next year.

"But they do expect growth to accelerate as the year progresses," adds economist Nyantara Hensel.

She says panel members are concerned about tax and spending gridlock in Washington.

"One of the major headwinds continues to be concerns about whether or not Congress is going to be able to straighten out their spending plans," Hensel says.

But while business investment may sag, there is a bright spot: "The improvement in the housing market is likely to continue," Hensel notes.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Third Quarter GDP Rises 2 Percent

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The nation’s economy continued to expand in the third quarter, rising at an annualized rate of 2 percent, the Commerce Department said Friday morning.

The Gross Domestic Product numbers are preliminary and will be adjusted.  The third quarter compares with the previous period when the GDP rose at 1.3 percent.  It’s the first back-to-back quarters with a 2 percent or lower rate since the U.S. began emerging from recession in 2009.

Growth has been sporadic since the recession officially ended, but mostly hovering at the 2-3 percent level -- not enough, say economists, to bring down joblessness to where it was before the economic meltdown took full hold in 2007-2008.  After 43 straight months above 8 percent, the unemployment rate dropped to 7.8 percent last month.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


International Monetary Fund Lowers Global Growth Forecast for 2012

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- More than ever the U.S. is part of the global economy, with millions of American workers depending on jobs linked to imports and exports.  

But a new warning that the world's economy has weakened further could mean a slowdown for global trade and the biggest threat out there to American jobs.

In its latest update, the International Monetary Fund forecasts global growth of 3.3 percent this year -- down from an estimate of nearly 4 percent just three months ago.  Slower growth is also forecast for 2013.

"Risks for a serious global slowdown are alarmingly high," says the IMF's World Economic Outlook.

The report comes one day after a forecast of a deepening slowdown in China, the world's second largest economy.  India -- another engine of growth -- is also facing a serious slowdown. 

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


US Economy Grew 3% in Fourth Quarter of 2011

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The Commerce Department announced on Wednesday that the U.S. economy grew at a slightly faster pace during the last three months of 2011 than had previously been reported.

The agency said the country's gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 3 percent in last year's fourth quarter, up from the previous estimate of 2.8 percent.  The revised figure marks the strongest growth in a year and a half.

The increase was boosted by rising consumer incomes and a higher savings rate.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Economy to Grow Slow But Steady in 2012, Survey Finds

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Economists are becoming more confident that the United States will avoid another recession anytime soon, but they’re still cautious about this year’s rate of growth.

The latest quarterly survey from the National Association for Business Economics forecasts 2.4 percent growth this year.

“This is not gangbusters,” economist Richard DeKaser says of the NABE report.  “But it is solid and probably more important is that people are feeling more confident about their forecast.”

The survey says one big difference this year compared to 2011 is an improving jobs market.

“Businesses were able to get away without hiring because productivity was so strong,”  DeKaser said.  “That’s not the case anymore.  So we're seeing even moderate GDP gains translate into more jobs."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Report Shows Large Drop in African-American Unemployment

Comstock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The unemployment rate among African-Americans dropped by more than two percentage points from December to January, according to the labor department’s report released Friday.

African-American unemployment has never been lower than 15 percent since 2009, but plummeted from 15.8 percent to 13.6 percent last month. The number is no longer double the white unemployment rate as it has been for years, but is still disproportionately higher.

The drop was even more pronounced among black men, a demographic that saw nearly 17 percent unemployment in Jan. 2011. The unemployment rate for black men for January 2012 was 12.7 percent.

January’s statistics signal a distinct change from previous numbers that show huge and increasing disparities between white and black employment rates. In several reports during 2011, the jobless rate for African-Americans went up while the rate for whites declined.

January marked the first month since October that the African-American unemployment rate dropped in line with the overall rate.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Economists Predict Slow US Growth Next Year

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. economy will continue its slow growth next year and joblessness will remain high, according to a survey released Monday morning by the National Association for Business Economics.

“Economists responding to the latest NABE Outlook Survey expect moderate economic growth through 2012, with little likelihood of another recession or an outbreak of inflation,” said NABE Outlook Survey Chair Shawn DuBravac, chief economist at the Consumer Electronics Association.

In the survey, those who responded expect inflation-adjusted gross domestic product, known as real GDP, to grow at 2.5 percent in the final quarter of 2011 and 2.4 percent in 2012.

Unemployment, the group said, is expected to decline slightly next year from its current 9 percent level.  Business spending and housing starts, on the other hand, are expected to continue to rise.
“Corporate profits and stock prices are predicted to strengthen.  But the panel remains concerned about debt-related issues in Europe,” the NABE said.

Here are the highlights from the report:

-- The NABE Outlook panel predicts moderate real GDP growth through year-end 2012.  A 2.5 percent pace is expected during the fourth quarter of 2011, followed by a 2.4 percent growth rate in 2012, with GDP in the second half of 2012 slightly stronger than in the first half.

-- The odds of a second recession are low.  Only two of 42 forecasters predicted a decline in real GDP over the near-term.  As a group, the panelists saw a recession as the least likely scenario.  Forecast confidence has improved, but remains low.

-- The NABE Outlook panel expects employment will improve, albeit very slowly.  Monthly job gains are expected to rise steadily over the forecast horizon, from an average of 100,000 during the fourth quarter of 2011 to 130,000 by the end of next year.  The jobless rate will decline from 9 percent to 8.9 percent in 2012, but despite a majority view of modest labor market improvement, NABE economists still identified “excessive unemployment” as their single greatest concern going forward.

-- Growth in consumer spending is expected to remain below trend.  Consumer spending is forecast to increase 2.1 percent this year -- the same consumer spending forecast as reported in the September survey.  The NABE Outlook Survey panel expects consumer spending to grow 2.1 percent in 2012.

-- Housing starts are expected to increase 10 percent in 2012.  The economists participating in the survey expect housing starts to reach 600,000 units in 2011, just slightly above the 2010 total and a small upward revision from the September Outlook Survey forecast.

-- Business spending remains a bright spot in the forecast.  NABE’s Outlook panel continues to forecast solid if not spectacular growth in spending on business equipment and software in both 2011 (up 10.5 percent) and 2012 (an additional increase of 8 percent).  The forecast for real spending on nonresidential structures improved from that reported in the September survey.  Panelists now envisage spending on structures to increase 4.6 percent in 2011 and 4.5 percent next year.  Industrial production is expected to increase 4 percent in 2011 and 3.3 percent in 2012.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Global Stocks Tumble Amid Latest Chinese GDP Report

Hemera Technologies/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Ahead of Tuesday's opening bell, a new cause for concern has popped up for global investors: China's economic growth has slowed down.

The country reported on Tuesday that its third quarter gross domestic product increased 9.1 percent from last year, but still fell short of its 9.5 percent rise in the previous quarter.

The news sent U.S. stock futures down Tuesday, a day after Wall Street experienced its biggest drop in two weeks.

On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted 247 points, the Nasdaq fell 53 and the S&P 500 lost 24.

Overseas, European markets are trading lower on Tuesday and Asian ones closed with big losses.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng took the biggest hit, plunging 4.23 percent, while China's Shanghai Composite dropped 2.33 percent.  Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 2.07 percent, Japan’s Nikkei index lost 1.55 percent, and South Korea’s Kospi shed 1.41 percent.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Economic Growth Nears Flatline: Just 1% in Second Quarter

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. Department of Commerce on Friday estimated just a 1 percent upward tick in annual growth during the spring quarter, more evidence that the economic recovery remains slow to nearly none.

The government report shows the economy was barely expanding, even before this month’s stock market plunge. Economists worry that the Wall Street sell-off could cause consumers and business to pull back even more on spending and investment.

For some, Friday’s news is further evidence that the economy could be slipping back into recession, but John Ryding with RDQ Economics says the numbers aren’t so disappointing.

“This report has strong profits numbers and we tend not to go into a recession when corporations are making profits because that's an inducement to expand,” Ryding said.

“If we dig a little deeper and look at the strength of incomes and look at the strength of profits I think we find that the economy, while not strong, is nowhere near as weak as the headline GDP data suggests.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio