JP Morgan economists Michael Feroli, Robert Mellman and Daniel Silver think the economic growth rate will hit 2.5 percent by Christmas, and that not even the sequester, higher gas prices, or the payroll tax hike will stop that.
They told MarketWatch, ““If the consumer were down for the count, we’d have a different story.” But the slowdown from those problems “should fade as we progress for the rest of the year.”
Housing is one of the main things picking us up. The economists say new housing starts should jump to an annual rate of about 1.2 million in the last quarter of 2013, up from a rate of 900,000 a year now. They expect unemployment to stay stuck, dropping a tenth of a percent to 7.6 percent by December.
Feroli was named MarketWatch’s Forecaster of the Month in February, and they ranked JP Morgan fifth-best for the past year.