So what are some positive predictions for 2011?
- More jobs. Hiring predictions for 2011 are starting to come in and what they say is that we can expect more jobs next year. Manpower issued its respected Employment Outlook Survey on Tuesday that said employers anticipate small staffing gains in the first quarter of 2011. Almost 1/2 of big companies say they plan to hire in 2011. Another survey, this one of CFOs done by the Bank of America, says almost 1/2 of larger companies are even more likely to hire in 2011. That’s a big improvement over the 28 percent who said that at the start of 2010.
- 2. More optimism. The survey also showed CfOs somewhat more optimistic about their own company’s prospects. Last year 61 percent of the CFOs surveyed expected improvement in their company’s revenue. This year, 64 percent do. It does give you the sense that the US is climbing out of the hole.
- More Consumer Confidence. Stewart Title Chief Economist Ted C. Jones in Houston, TX says consumer confidence is back and is evident this holiday shopping season. “It is up and it’s shown by all the full parking lots at all the malls and the stores, and the waiting lines at all the restaurants we did not see last year,” Jones said. “The bottom line is, people feel better and they are spending on that aspect.” According to MasterCard Advisors, retail spending rose 5.5% in the 50 days before Christmas and pre-Christmas online sales during the holiday season through Christmas Eve rose 15.4% year-over-year to $36.4 billion.
- More Stocks Rising. According to Jones, the 2010 roller coaster ride on the stock market is finally coming to a close. Wells Fargo Financial Advisor Mark Teed agrees, saying we may be in for a positive surprise in the new year. Teed says analysts are predicting the stock market will be about 10% higher than it is right now. "If the stock market is a leading indicator and it's telling us things are going to be better, that's good for job numbers that's good for foreclosures, it's good for the economy in general," says Teed.
- 5. More Housing Starts. The results, released in December by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, show that the nation’s housing market is expected to improve in 2011 after a five-year struggle. The Fed especially predicts positive news in home investments, with an increase in 2011 at a rate of 9.6 percent. The Fed also forecasts that housing starts will increase to 690,000 in 2011, up from 550,000 in 2009.
- More Happiness. 2011 is predicted to be the Year of Happiness. We saw the shift in happynomics several years ago as people began replacing "things" with happiness - choosing to work where they want to live, instead of living where they work. Young people choosing to work on a farm instead of on Wall Street, driving a Prius instead of a Hummer, growing their own food and raising their own chickens.
- More Gardening. All this positive news is great for gardening. As people begin to go back to work and have more confidence in the economy, they will open up their pocketbooks and spend more money - and hopefully this spring that extra money will be planted in backyards and gardens across America. And we all know new houses mean new gardens.
So cheers to a fabulous 2011 and may all your gardens grow and bloom more, more, more!!!Suzi, Garden Media Group