The National Association for Business Economics released their latest survey, which seems to indicate that most business economists believe the recession has ended. But as we've seen in previous reports, the economic recovery is likely to be more moderate than others following steep declines.
More than 80% of respondents believe an expansion has begun, according to the survey. The NABE panel upgraded the economic outlook for the next several quarters, compared with the last survey NABE conducted.
NABE forecasters expect real GDP to rise at a 2.9% rate in the second half of 2009 after a 6.4% contraction in the first quarter and a 0.7% drop in the second quarter.
Key areas of concern noted in the survey included large increases in federal debt (also noted by MDM readers in the recent MDM Survey on the Economy) and unemployment rates that are expected to remain high through next year.
Inflation is expected to remain contained throughout 2010.
- Slow growth of household sector spending is expected to drag on the economy.
- Sales of light vehicles are expect to remain weak; the survey forecasts 12 million vehicles will be sold next year, up only slightly from the 40-year low of 10.3 million vehicles in 2009.
- Housing will "deliver robust growth in 2010, albeit from a depressed level." The survey forecasts 38% growth in housing starts, and that residential investment will grow 8%.
- Massive inventory liquidation of the past year will hit bottom in the second half of 2009; restocking will begin in 2010, according to the survey.
- Business spending on equipment and software will be helped by higher operating rates and profits.
- The dollar will soften further this year and remain weak into 2010.
Read more about the survey results at the National Association for Business Economics Web site.