The U.S. economy is finally showing signs of life. GDP grew 2.8% in the third quarter, breaking a string of four quarterly declines in a row, the longest since the Great Depression. But the outlook for this year is still far from rosy. Treasury & Risk asked economists Diane Swonk of Mesirow Financial, Michael Dueker of Russell Investments and Ken Goldstein of the Conference Board to look into their crystal balls. The 3% growth Swonk is forecasting is tame by historical standards in the wake of a recession, she says, but notes that credit is still hard to come by, especially for consumers. Dueker doesn't expect inflation to be a problem but sees the dollar remaining under pressure. And Goldstein says the economy still faces stiff headwinds as high unemployment and demographic changes limit consumer spending.
Sweating Out a Possible Double Dip