Big Picture: Business, Consumer Confidence Diverge Over Fiscal Cliff

Economists polled by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia forecast U.S. economic activity to cool to 2.0 percent in 2013 from an anticipated 2.2 percent increase in 2012. This is a pace traditionally associated with an economy teetering on the brink of recession.

The Bank’s latest survey of professional forecasters shows monthly nonfarm payroll growth expectations are for 155,600 in 2012 and 143,300 in 2013. Both are less than the 170,000 jobs per month needed to keep pace with new entrants into the workforce.

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