Associated Press Reports: Economy Still In Decline

The economy is still in decline but results from a new economic survey show evidence the recession is abating as more companies see rising demand for their products, taper plans for job cuts and report profit margins on the uptick.

The latest quarterly survey by the National Association for Business Economics, set to be released Monday, indicates that the economy is at an inflection point, but not quite a turning point, said Sara Johnson, NABE’s lead analyst on the survey and an economist at IHS Global Insight.

Still, the NABE survey of companies and trade associations showed that pessimism about U.S. economic growth is rising, as 93 percent of respondents expected real GDP to decline this year. That was worse than 78 percent in the previous survey in January.

Employment prospects are still down, too, and wages are at their lowest point since the survey began 27 years ago.

The number of companies reporting lower employment totaled 39 percent, down from 44 percent. Goods-producing industries fared the worst, with 83 percent reporting job losses, and none reporting growth.

The outlook for jobs remains grim, with losses expected to continue in the next six months. Only 16 percent of companies predicted an increase in hiring at their firms, slightly worse than the 17 percent in January. But the number of companies predicting job losses improved to 33 percent from 39 percent.

The straight talk translation: The ship is still sinking,  just not as fast.

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