Cumberland Times-News

Editorials

October 27, 2012

Better news?

Experts say U.S. economy may improve next year

Believe it or not, economists surveyed by USA Today believe that America’s economy will slowly improve next year.

That’s assuming Congress actually resolves its budgetary indecision and the U.S. escapes the so-called “fiscal cliff” from which it would plummet next January if no budget is passed and sequestration — with tax increases and spending cuts — takes place.

About two-thirds of the 48 economists asked by USA Today said the budget standoff would be resolved without damaging the economy.

Among their predictions for next year:

• The economy will grow 2.3 percent.

• Unemployment will drop from 7.8 percent to 7.6 percent.

• By the fourth quarter, 175,000 jobs will be added each month compared to 130,000 a month this current quarter.

• Business investment growth will rise to 7.5 percent from its current 4.2 percent.

Recently, the Associated Press reported that U.S. oil output is growing so rapidly that America could soon overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest oil producer. This is being driven by high oil prices and new drilling methods.

So maybe better days are coming.

However, not all of the economists surveyed agree on the conclusions, and many factors are involved.

“If” still remains one of the biggest words in the English language.

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