U.S. economic outlook improving

Laws, Forrest
October 2004
Southeast Farm Press;10/20/2004, Vol. 31 Issue 24, p17
Trade Publication
The article discusses the economic conditions in the U.S. as of October 20, 2004. The U.S. economy is expected to strengthen in the second half of 2004 and continue to grow in 2005. With low interest rates, many consumers have refinanced their mortgages and used the money left from lower payments to pay down credit card debt. Even so, household debt service levels are at historical highs. Despite the high debt levels and weak labor markets, consumer confidence remains relatively high according to the Conference Board, whose surveys have become the leading indicator of how consumers view their economic futures. Increases in corporate profits and improvements in the stock markets are also bolstering business confidence and underpinning the prospects for stronger growth in the latter half of 2004.


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