With the housing market and auto sales showing some signs of life, pundits predict a better economy for 2012. But the ripple from a European downturn could erode the economic pace in the US.
Higher food and energy prices helped propel the Producer Price Index up by 1.1 percent in December. But the outlook on the inflation rate is not entirely bleak, some say.
Pundits predict healthy growth in 2011 and fewer unemployed. But housing and state budgets may struggle.
Economists see some optimism in the unemployment rate as well as in other employment data. But overall, jobs are still being lost.
Consumer spending rose 0.7 percent in October, and businesses started adding inventory after 10 months of lowering their stockpiles, according to reports Wednesday. Some see recovery at a moderate pace.
The practice is spreading as the US unemployment rate hits 7.6 percent.