Expansion Under Way?

Follow the optimism index each week to guage the outlook for economic growth, jobs, real estate, and the stock market.

The Optimism Meter clocked in at 45 on Feb. 2, up from 37 one week earlier as a survey of Americans showed that only 36% still believe the economy is getting worse. Economists now forecast that GDP will grow by 2.7% in 2010. Developed by Bloomberg BusinessWeek using data from pollster YouGov, the Optimism Meter is a proprietary measure of sentiment and expectations, economic statistics, and market forecasts. It evaluates shifts in outlook among individuals, professional investors, and economists in the areas of U.S. economic growth, jobs, equity markets, and real estate. Each of the charts that follow measures one of the four different components of the Optimism Meter: economic growth, jobs, equity markets, and real estate. Like the Optimism Meter, the components appear on a scale of 0 to 100, with 100 representing the highest level of optimism. ECONOMIC GROWTH: GROWTH DAYS ARE BACK AGAIN

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