If it looks, walks, and smells like optimism, maybe it is. Some economists, as well as companies like General Electric and an increasing number of consumers, are spotting signs of optimism regarding America's economy, reports Bloomberg Business Week. All this at a time when the countries of Europe and emerging economies such as China and India remain pessimistic.
Some of the reasons for the shift to optimism are already evident. Shoppers are back in stores -- and in some markets, approaching pre-recession levels of spending. Additionally, a handful of retailers are keeping their seasonal help, taking them on as permanent employees. All this coupled with the fact that new claims for unemployment are down and the stock market is up.
There are other reasons, which some economists point to a fueling this growth, that you might not be as aware of. One theory is that the extension of the Bush-era tax cuts has made business more confident, and that this may lead to more hiring. Another factor leading to optimism is the forecasts for GDP growth in 2011. Some economists such as those at Moody's Analytics are projecting 3.9 percent growth for this year.
Meanwhile, Europe is in the dumps because of its sovereign-debt mess, and emerging economies are struggling with the fear of inflation. Any signs of growth from the economy are welcome news at this point, so let's enjoy the good feelings while we can.