‘Most accurate’ forecaster predicts surge

The analyst credited with most accurately predicting the trend in gross domestic product in the first three quarters of
2009 is saying the United States is set for a strong economic rebound next year.

Dean Maki, chief U.S. economist
at Barclays Capital and a former Federal Reserve economist, predicts the domestic economy will grow 3.5 percent in 2010, according
to Bloomberg News, which ranked him tops among 60 forecasters it follows. Read the story here.

The robust recovery of the stock market is improving
family balance sheets and just might persuade Americans to start spending again, Maki says. Interestingly,
Maki is a contrarian on the notion of this recovery being “different” than prior ones. “The
consensus view that growth will stay subdued all through next year—there’s no parallel to that in modern U.S.
history,” he’s quoted as saying.

If he’s right, that’s good news for Indiana. A nation
with a renewed interest in spending will buy more cars, trucks and appliances—the kinds of products that took it on
the chin with the decline in the economy and housing market. People also might be more inclined to opt for elective surgeries,
which would give a shot in the arm to the health care industry.

Economists have long said the economy might not
have gotten shellacked as badly had consumers not pulled back from spending so abruptly. Yet, experts also cheered American’s
rediscovery of saving after a trend that resulted in our actually spending more money than we made.

What’s
your take on Maki’s prediction of a reasonably prosperous 2010? Do you believe it? And how would you feel about a rebound
in consumer spending?

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