- generally positive results from the Federal Reserve's banking stress test,
- improving employment and manufacturing trends and
- comments from rail operator CSX Corp. that container and merchandise shipment demand was improving.
- is benefiting from improvements in private investment and exports,
- is still adjusting from too much consumer debt, financial sector leverage and excessive real estate development and
- remains challenged by high unemployment, a weak residential construction market – with depressed home values in many parts of the country and high energy prices.
The economy is showing signs of recovery with improving auto purchases and retail sales; however, other critical components associated with a recovery such as a bottoming of the debt deleveraging process, strong GDP growth (i.e. +4%) and strong wage growth have not yet taken hold. These conflicting signals may continue to dampen investor conviction.