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Economists say the US will turn a corner in 2014

Monday, 30 Dec 2013 | 12:43 PM ET

Our crystal ball is on the fritz, so we've rounded up some New Year's predictions from some reliable sources: a panel of more than 50 U.S. economists that participated in the National Association for Business Economics Outlook Survey released this month. Looking ahead, the consensus expect real GDP growth of 2.8 percent in 2014, despite quantitative easing in the first half of the year. On a positive note, they also believe the unemployment rate will fall to an average 7 percent. Here's a snapshot of the highlights.

It's a seller's market

It's looking like another good year for businesses that make cars, houses and other goods. The ongoing recovery in housing and manufacturing is expected to pick up speed next year.

Inflation remains in check

Consumers can look forward to another year of relatively tame prices. Housing prices are expected to cool off a bit, and prices of other goods and services aren't expected to rise all that much.

The unemployment line shrinks

The job market will continue to show slow but steady improvement in 2014 as the jobless rate keeps ticking lower. That will help boost wages, according to the business economists.

Where the markets are going ...

All of which should help companies continue to post higher profits, driving stock prices higher. Our forecasters think interest rates are headed higher, though, which could send bond prices tumbling.

Markets
Interest Rates Federal Funds Target, % year-end 0.125 0.125 0.125
Dollar Trade-Weighted Value of the US$, FRB Broad Index, December average 99 101 101.5
Bonds 10-Year Treasury Note Yield, % year-end 1.78 2.71 3.25
Stocks S&P 500 Index, December 31 1426 1775 1850
Corporate Profits Corporate Profits After Tax, % change 19.2 5 6.1

Bankers predict market swings

Here's where Wall Street bankers think the markets are headed:

Bank predictions

Bank Predictions
Bank S&P 500 Gold Ten-year Treasury 0.125
Goldman Sachs 1900 1110 3.25% 101.5
Deutsche Bank 1900 1300 3.55% 3.25
Wells Fargo 1850-1900 1200-1300 3.5% 1850
Société Générale 1600 1050 4% 6.1

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