1. But economists generally expect the momentum of the recent past to resume and continue once storm distortions abate. The 45 economists who responded to The Wall Street Journal's latest monthly forecasting survey saw the jobless rate falling to 7.8% by next June and 7.5% by the end of 2013. Some say job growth could accelerate from its slow pace. 'I think businesses are going to have to hire,' said Bob Baur, an economist with Principal Global Investors.[qh]
6. Although foreign trade accounts for a greater share of the economy than ever, the United States is still more insulated than virtually every major competitor in Europe and Asia. Such everyday purchases as haircuts, dry cleaning, financial advice and eating out are virtually immune from foreign competition.