Members of the National Association of Business Economics  are forecasting growth, albeit slow, in the new construction market next year.
Most analysts surveyed are expecting a “sizable advance” in housing starts in 2011, NABE reported. They also are predicting an average home price increase of just 1.2 percent.
The economists are also expecting weak consumer spending due to limited job growth through next year. NABE forecasts unemployment rising to 9.7 percent (it currently stands at 9.6 percent) before falling to 9.2 percent by the end of 2011.
That’s part of a much more bearish report from the group, whose members predicted a 2.6 percent growth in GDP this year, down from a May forecast of 3.2 percent.
Those predictions are still better than many forecasts. The International Monetary Fund recently cut its forecast for U.S. GDP growth to 2.3 percent and Goldman Sachs & Co. is calling for 1.8 percent growth in 2011.