NABE Survey Says Economy Slow, Housing Market Up and Fiscal Cliff Avoided

Shawn DuBravac, Chief Economist for the Consumer Electronics Association

There is good and bad economic news. The bad news first: economists are now predicting dawdling growth during 2013, with an upswing in the unemployment rate back to over 8 percent for at least the first half of the year.

Yes, there is some good news to assuage the bad: the recovery of the housing industry is heading upwards more quickly than expected and there is a very high likelihood that the economy is not about to fall over a “fiscal cliff.”

The good and the bad and the ugly news was derived from the quarterly survey of the National Association for Business Economists. The poll questioned 44 economists about how they see the economic future of the country.

NABE is an organization composed of business economists and other professionals who use economics in the workplace.

The survey was conducted during the 12 days between September 14 and 26. The best news issuing from the survey concerns the expectation that new housing starts for single-family homes will rise by 23 percent, totaling 750,000 new units for 2012, and a continuing rise in 2013 of about 13 percent, for a total number of units of 850,000.

Home prices are also expected to rise by 1.5 percent in 2012, and 2.8 percent in 2012. This is a higher estimate then the economists gave back in the May survey.

It also seems we are not heading for a fall of a “fiscal cliff.” Despite concerns of the budget deficit and national debt and what the combined $1.2 trillion in spending cuts and tax increases will do to the economy, most economists seem to believe that a giant fiscal explosion will not take place.

‘‘The panelists’ projections for the fiscal cliff are very diverse, though survey respondents in general do not expect the potentially large negative outcomes of the fiscal cliff to materialize,’’ said Shawn DuBravac, chief economist at the Consumer Electronics Association, who analyzed the results for the NABE.

About Alison Meadows

Alison Meadows has a PHD in Economic Trends in Modern Times and is a known writer who focuses on hedge fund investments. Meadows, her husband, and three kids live in Boston, where she grew up and attended college. Contact Alison at alison[at]