Latest News First Quarter Vision Council Economic Trends Report Predicts a Strong 2013 By Staff Friday, March 29, 2013 12:24 AM ALEXANDRIA, Va.—“The consensus is strong for macroeconomic rise in 2013,” which “is off to a good start and is projected to conclude ahead of 2012 levels,” according to the first quarter issue of an exclusive economic trends reporting newsletter from The Vision Council in partnership with the Institute for Trends Research (ITR). Positive trends cited include: “Business confidence, as measured by the Purchasing Managers Index, is at 54.2, rising above the historic average of 52.7. The stock market is breaking records, and home prices are increasing at a healthy clip, which, for the first time since 2007, could renew feelings of a ‘wealth effect.’ Consumer expectations ticked up in February just below the 10-year average, and the December-to-January rise in retail sales was the second best on record.” However, that was followed by a decline in retail sales in February. “The majority of the leading indicators suggest ongoing improvement into at least the fourth quarter of the year,” said John Murphy, ITR economist. “We expect the pace of growth to be slower in 2013 than it was in 2012, but an actual contraction will not occur until 2014.” He predicts this based on the cumulative effects of sequestration and both Dodd-Frank and the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act going into effect in 2014. Published quarterly by ITR Economics, the full quarterly report is provided exclusively to members of The Vision Council.