Business Survey Shows Recovery Continuing, but at a Slower Pace

Melly Alazraki

With so much talk about the possibility that the nation is slipping into a double-dip recession, a new economic survey by the National Association of Business Economics shows the U.S. recovery continued through the second quarter, although at a slower pace than earlier in the year.

For one, industry demand increased for a fourth consecutive quarter in the latest survey period, but the pace of growth was weaker during the latest quarter. And the Net Rising Index, which climbed to 51 in April, slipped to 42 in July, but with all four major industry sectors recording demand growth.

The 84-members surveyed also remained positive about economic growth in 2010, though expectations declined slightly. Only 20% of survey respondents believe real GDP will expand by more than 3%, while 67% believe the economy will expand by more than 2% in 2010.

And with jobs on everybody's mind, the survey also found that job creation trends continued to improve, with a second quarter of net positive payroll gains. The percentage of firms increasing payrolls increased to 31% from 6% a year ago, and the percentage of firms cutting jobs dropped to 14% from 36% last year.

While the survey found several other positive business indicators, such as contained cost pressures and stable capital spending, it also cautioned that European credit and debt issues will have a negative impact on U.S. firms.

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