Top Forecasters See "Green Shoots"

Top economic forecasting firm International Strategy & Investment Group says it is seeing signs that the U.S. economy is performing better than many have believed.

“There are signs, or ‘green shoots,’ as International Strategy & Investment Group’s economists Ed Hyman and Nancy Lazar call them, that when taken together suggest the economy is improving at a faster rate than previously imagined,” writes Barron’s Sandra Ward. “The ISI folks point to gains in nine closely watched indicators, including the nonmanufacturing Purchasing Managers Index, First Call earnings revisions, and the Beige Book economic diffusion index, which tracks current business activity across the country. They also note the weekly Economic Cycle Research Institute’s proprietary leading index, which registered 123.7 last week, marking the fifth consecutive week of gains.”

Ward says ISI is attributing the improvement to several factors. Among them: the global easing cycle, strong stock market performance, and improving housing market.