Vital Signs: Manufacturing Picks Up, But Consumer Spending Remains Weak

The economy is showing more signs that the rebound from the recession is starting out much stronger than anyone had anticipated only a few months ago. In recent weeks, economic researchers at most Wall Street houses have been raising their growth projections, especially for the second half. For example, economists at both J.P. Morgan (JPM) and Barclays Capital (BCS) now expect second-half growth in real GDP of 3.5%. And the folks at Barclays think their forecast might be too low.

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