The U.S. economy’s growth is expected to slow somewhat at the start of 2012, following a burst of rapid growth during the fourth quarter of last year. According to the USA TODAY’s survey of economists, the current state will keep unemployment rates at around the same place they are now.
The survey continued, explaining that the economy will grow at approximately a 2.2% annual rate during the first half of the coming year. The government will release reports on fourth-quarter GDP later this week.
Diane Swonk, Mesirow Financial chief economist, explained that the slower growth will result from the fact that last year’s bounce-back won’t be able to maintain itself. She said: “The little improvement we saw was partly catch-up; the retail recovery at Christmas was more hype than reality. Consumer confidence is still at recession levels, just not at depression levels.”
Still, there are some positive sides to the upcoming year. The risk of an additional U.S. recession is decreasing significantly, while the debt crisis in Europe will only affect a quarter of a percentage point in America’s growth this year.