Economists' Optimism for 2011 Begins to Fade

Last month we learned that the Federal Reserve was raising its expectations for 2011 on GDP and employment growth. If you follow economics news closely, then you know there have also been sporadic reports of other economists also raising their outlook. Yet a new survey indicates that a consensus of economists working at financial firms are more pessimistic about 2011 than they were at mid-year. The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association end of year outlook begins:

Members of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association's Economic Advisory Roundtable forecast that U.S. economic growth will grow at subdued rate of 2.8 percent in 2010 and 2.6 percent in 2011. This outlook is weaker than at mid-year, when the Roundtable predicted growth rate of 3.3 percent and 3.1 percent in 2010 and 2011, respectively. While there was some belief that a rebound in job growth and consumer and business confidence could jumpstart a stronger growth pace, concerns over fiscal policy, continued weakness in housing and mortgage markets, European sovereign debt con-cerns, regulatory uncertainties, and fiscal problems are significant risks to the downside.

Read the full report at SIFMA (.pdf).