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2011 Looks Positive For Economy

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MIAMI (CBS4) – The latest economic indexes show 2011 is already looking much better than the start of 2010 with improvements in consumer spending, manufacturing and continued gains on Wall Street.

They add up to solid signs the recovery’s picking up speed according to some economic forecasters.

But the tough questions remain: how long will it last; and when will the job market finally get more people back to work?

Wall Street’s seeing enough solid gains that some market analysts believe we could see the Dow Jones Stock Index possibly crossing over the 12-thousand mark before the end of the month.

Consumer spending forced retailers to order more merchandise towards the end of December 2010 and that’s improving the U.S. economy’s manufacturing sector.

Some economic forecasters believe 2011 is already shaping up to be better than last year with almost a trillion dollars in tax cuts expected to further rejuvenate consumer spending.

Locally, the winter tourist season is looking much better than last year with solid gains in passenger levels at both Miami International Airport and South Florida seaports. Foreign trade out of local ports is expected to continue seeing solid gains throughout the year.

Still, several major “soft-spots” will continue to drag down our economic recovery.

Foreclosures are expected to continue flooding the local real estate market and that will prevent home and condo prices from improving for possibly several more years. This will compound the unemployment problem as construction jobs remain few and far between, even in the Sunshine State.

Job growth overall is slowly improving, but is not expected to get much better until possibly much later in the fall.

Local financial planners say if you have any investments, consider going over them very closely to see if they need any adjustments. They also recommend paying off holiday bills to avoid extra credit card expenses.

Don’t expect any major changes on the job front if you’re looking for work or any major raises from your current employers.

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