Things have been grim since the recession officially ended in June 2009. Job creation is barely outpacing population growth, and our GDP growth is sluggish.
But next year, economists foresee a convergence of several factors that could finally kick this recovery into high gear.
First on the list is the federal budget. After epic fights this year over the “fiscal cliff,” the “sequester,” and a bunch of other wonky stuff, lawmakers have finally managed to cobble together enough tax hikes and spending cuts to at least stabilize the country’s credit rating.
Rising home prices are helping, too. Fewer Americans are trapped in underwater mortgages that leave them owing more on their home than the house is worth. Rising prices also boost the net worth of homeowners, adding to consumer confidence.
Related: Recession ended 4 years ago: How far have we come?
Businesses have been complaining for years about “uncertainty” in the public policy area. Next year, some of those unknowns will finally be resolved.
Companies have held off on hiring because they’re waiting to see how they’ll be affected byhealth care and finance reform laws, according to John Silvia, chief economist at Wells Fargo (WFC, Fortune 500). The implementation details of both of those laws will become clearer over the next year.
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