The Economic Cycle Research Institute has made a bold prediction: there will be actual jobs growth in the service sector by the end of the year. Here's what they say:
"The rise in WLI [weekly leading indictors] growth to a record high reinforces our earlier forecast that at least the early stage of the current economic recovery will be more vigorous than the last two," said ECRI Managing Director Lakshman Achuthan.
"We expect non-manufacturing employment -- which is where 91 percent of us work -- to be positive by year end," Achuthan said.
"We are talking about recovery that includes jobs growth in the non-manufacturing sector, and we are talking about a recovery that includes increases in consumer spending.
I include this item not just for its contrarian boldness, but also because:
1. ECRI does not sell stocks or bonds. It is only a forecasting service, and has no conflict of interest.
2. ECRI was around during the Great Depression, and its forecasting model includes data from that era.
3. ECRI has been pounding the table bullish on the economy since March, calling for the recession to end by the end of summer, while almost all other pundits were predicting continued free fall at best. Now, most economists do agree that in GDP terms, the recession did indeed probably end this summer.