Businessweek Archives

New Year Outlook


The Meter clocked in at 52 on Jan. 5, up from 49 a week earlier, but down from the high of 56 in late December, as enthusiasm for U.S. equities waned and then returned.

Each of the charts below measures one of the four different components of the Optimism Meter on a scale of 0 to 100, with 100 representing the highest level of optimism.

ECONOMIC GROWTH: SIGNS OF GLOOM

HIGHLIGHT: Bloomberg’s survey of 57 economists estimate that U.S. gross domestic product will expand by 2.6% in 2010 and 2.9% in 2011. Though only 26% of respondents said they think the economy is getting better, down from 30% one week earlier.

JOBS: A LITTLE MORE HOPEFUL

HIGHLIGHT: TWENTY-TWO PERCENT of individuals say that if they lost their job, it wouldn’t be very hard to find a new one that paid as much. That’s up from 17% one week earlier. Economists predict that unemployment will average 9.25% in 2011, down from an average OF 10% in 2010.

EQUITY MARKETS: RETURN OF THE BULLS

HIGHLIGHT: Investors expect the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index to be less volatile over the next 30 days, and only 14% of individuals are predicting a drop over the next 12 months.

REAL ESTATE: HOUSING RECOVERY HERE TO STAY?

HIGHLIGHT: Almost two-thirds of YouGov survey respondents – 66% —said that they believed their homes would either increase in value or stay the same. Twenty-three percent think real estate has yet to hit a bottom, and 12% say they’re “not sure.”

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