A consensus forecast from 25 economists has the U.S. economy picking up steam in 2011, but growth will be moderate, according to legal and business publisher BNA. Don't expect the sharp V-shaped recovery hoped for by some business observers.
Inflation and the Federal Reserve's target interest rate will remain low, the economists predict. The recovery will hinge on "increased job growth, consumer spending, business investment and exports, as government stimulus continues to fade," BNA reported in its survey.
Jobs will grow by an average of 156,000 per month for the first six months of 2011, the consensus predicts. Then job growth will accelerate to 193,000 jobs per month in the second half of the year, according to the consensus forecast. Still, the unemployment rate is not expected to dip below 9.2%.
The economists said risks to the expansion include energy price jumps, business reluctance to add workers and a spread of the European debt crisis.