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Economics: That's More Like It
CNBC.com | December 01, 2011 | 02:34 PM EST

1. The economy surprises on the upside.

Housing, autos, employment and trade will boost growth, with GDPexpanding between 2.50 to 3.00 percent (the latter more likely). Consumer confidence will continue to rise, as well.

2. Residential housing starts its recovery.

Gulp. Fatigue has set in. People are tired of the negativity. Interest rates won't go any lower, prices are very attractive and the rental life is overrated and overpriced. Foreclosures will not be as negative a force as people expect. Some markets are already in solid recovery mode. Generally, sales will rise, with prices flattening, then inching higher.

3. President Obama wins re-election.

As the 2004 presidential race showed, a weak incumbent can beat a weak, waffling challenger from Massachusetts with good hair. Mitt Romney is the GOP's version of John Kerry. Obama is a great campaigner who will best a robo-candidate. This race will be closer, but the South and West turn the tide.

4. Unemployment shows dramatic improvement.

Yes, a relative statement. The jobless rate will drop to 7.5 percent (maybe even less), thanks to a couple strong months, and enough to be a factor in No. 3.

5. The Euro survives and emerges stronger.

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