Economists vary on predictions for 2012

A dip in new jobless claims, an increase in auto sales, and a positive Christmas buying has some economists view as a sign that a recession in 2012 is unlikely.

“The consumer is going to be able to spend simply because job growth is picking up. As job growth picks up, income picks up,” Joel Naroff, of Naroff Economic Advisors told Reuters news.

Gerald Lyons, a chief economist at Standard Chartered sees continued growth in the emerging markets despite recent slowdowns.

“It’s important to stress the world economy is still growing. But it’s a tale of two worlds,” notes Gerard Lyons, chief economist at Standard Chartered Bank, adding that the “storyline for 2012 is that Europe drags the world down in the first half of the year, and China drags it up in the second half of the year.”

However, Chinese economists are predicting that growth will slow in 2012, reports China’s official news agency, Xinhua.

Yu Bin, director-general of the department of macroeconomic research at the Development Research Center of the State Council, says, “Eastern coastal cities saw obviously slower economic growth in 2011. Meanwhile, the potential for additional investment in infrastructure continues to shrink, signaling that the potential for economic growth has started to decline,” said Yu.

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