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The Conference Board Economics Watch® United States View

Caution, uncertainty, and volatility underscore 2012

  • Despite improving U.S. economic data, caution and uncertainty still rule the 2012 outlook

  • Economic growth will stay below 2 percent on average in 2012 and volatility remains a key characteristic of growth and markets

  • The European debt crisis remains a threat to U.S. recovery—a disorderly outcome would throw the U.S. into recession

  • The demand side of the U.S. housing market shows some positive signs

  • But the supply side of the housing market suggests that stabilization at a healthier level, of new housing starts, may still be a long way off

  • The negative wealth effect from depressed home prices weighs negatively on consumer spending

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