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


Can a bullish case be made for the U.S. economy? Indeed it can, so long as one doesn't lose sight of the many hurdles the economy still faces, given the financial crisis and the ongoing tight credit situation, which continue to impact international trade, business investment and personal spending.

Manufacturing sector. The Institute for Supply Management's Purchasing Managers Index for the manufacturing sector increased to 52.9 percent from 48.9 percent in August -- its eighth straight monthly increase, and the first time the PMI has been above 50 since January 2008. Since readings above 50 indicate an expansion, the fact that the factory sector is growing is a bullish sign for the economy. At least historically, when factory output increases, some firms begin hiring.