Five reasons to remain optimistic about the U.S. economy


The U.S. economy remains in a pronounced recession that is rapidly approaching the 18-month mark. Meanwhile, U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke was up testifying on Capitol Hill again, underlining, in the most diplomatic terms possible, that more federal money will be needed for both the banking bailout and for financial system stabilization.

In these trying times, it's understandable if investors and others are subdued. It's hard to find many positives, given the U.S. economy's current condition and those of world's other major economies. Still, a wise grandmother once said, "Things get better when you start to think better." And she's right. Grandma is always right. Accordingly, here are five reasons to remain optimistic: