What IHS predicts for global economy in 2011
The U.S. recovery will pick up steam as the year progresses. In 2011, the U.S. economy is likely to be firing on more cylinders. Housing investment will begin to recover and the United States will enjoy export-led growth. Additional fiscal stimulus will add 0.6 percent to growth in 2011 and push the unemployment rate below 9 percent by year’s end.
International Business Times, Dec. 22
Economic outlook: GDP growth expected
Analysts expect US third-quarter GDP to be revised higher to show annualised growth of 2.8 per cent, up from the previously reported 2.5 per cent.
Financial Times, Dec 19

Fannie Mae sees brighter 2011, raises GDP growth estimate to 3.4%
Fannie Mae raised its estimates for 2011 based on improving consumer spending and consumer confidence, increased demand for goods and services, and expected drops in unemployment claims. The government-sponsored enterprise now expects GDP growth of 3.4% next year up from a prior estimate of 2.9%, but warned a weaker-than-expected November jobs report, the continuing economic turmoil in Europe, and potential inflation problems in China pose downside risk., Dec. 21
Sales of U.S. Previously Owned Homes Probably Rose in November
Sales of existing homes probably rose in November as the industry that triggered the worst recession in seven decades struggled to recover, economists said before a report today. Purchases increased to a 4.75 million annual rate, up 7.1 percent from October, according to the median of 70 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. Another report may show the U.S. economy expanded at a faster pace in the third quarter than previously estimated.
Bloomberg, Dec. 22
RE/MAX November Existing Home Sales Continue Decline
In what could be a prelude of the national monthly existing home sales report to be released by the National Association of Realtor (NAR) on Wednesday, December 22nd, a report released on December 17th by realty giant RE/MAX revealed that home prices declined for the fifth consecutive month.RE/MAX reported in its news release that existing home sales fell 4.9 percent in November compared to October and nearly 25.9 percent from a year ago in the 54 metropolitan areas that it tracks.
Loan Rate Update, Dec. 21
Expect More Defaults and Foreclosures Over the Next Year
Although the housing sector has often led the economy out of downturns in the past, it is very unlikely to do so in this episode given the still-significant degree of oversupply in the market. The vacancy rate for owner-occupied housing, at 2.5 percent, remains a full percentage point above the pre-crisis norm. In addition to the softness in construction, a big concern for the housing market is the possible future path of home prices. For the most part, it appeared home prices stabilized after their plunge between mid-2006 and early 2009. But recent readings from a variety of sources, including a release by Corelogic Thursday, point to modest declines in prices in recent months. This is a somewhat troubling trend for home prices, and one that could possibly get worse before it gets better.
Fiscal Times, Dec 17
Durable-goods report could show weakening
Economists surveyed by MarketWatch expect durable-goods orders to fall 0.5% in November.
A decline in aircraft orders may be the culprit for the November decline and as a result, economists will be paying more attention to orders excluding transportation goods. Analysts expect a partial rebound in orders excluding transportation after a sharp 4.3% decline in October.
MarketWatch, Dec 19
ABC News Consumer Comfort Index
The ABC News Consumer Comfort Index, produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates, has risen 4 points in the last two weeks to -41 on its scale of +100 to -100, 5 points above its 2010 average and 9 points above its low for the year, last seen in early August. Nonetheless, the CCI’s still far below its 25-year average, -14. And previous rallies have faltered: The index hasn’t risen above -40 since April 2008.
ABC News, Dec 21
Consumer spending is up: Are Americans enjoying a post-recession holiday?
Spending is up in all retail categories compared with last year, according to MasterCard Advisors’ SpendingPulse, which tracks spending on all transactions including cash. Analysts say the increase in personal savings and a decline in consumer debt are giving consumers more confidence than they had in recent years to spend on others and even themselves. “There is tremendous pent-up demand as consumers are tired of being afraid. So they’re seeing a little sunlight and a few more bucks in their pockets,” says Robin Lewis, an independent retail consultant based in New York City. “They’re willing to go out there and find a little treat for themselves.”
Christian Science Monitor, Dec 20
NRF Revises Holiday Forecast Up to 3.3 Percent
After a solid start to the holiday season, the National Retail Federation announced today that it is revising its forecast to 3.3 percent, up from 2.3 percent. The upward revision is due to improvement in a variety of economic indicators including stock market gains, recent income growth, savings built up during the recession – all giving consumers the capacity to spend.
National Retail Federation, Dec 14