“The traditional engines that tend to give you a recovery are kicking in now,” Joseph Carson, director of global economic research at AllianceBernstein LP in New York, said in an interview. “We’re seeing confirmation of sustainability from all sides. That’s a real business cycle.”
Over the past two quarters, measures normally associated with early stages of lasting rebounds, including hours worked, employment, consumer and business sentiment, household spending on durable goods and residential investment, have picked up in tandem, said Carson.
Household spending led by durable goods like automobiles, as well as gains in homebuilding, may account for more than half of the first-quarter advance in gross domestic product, according to Carson. Those two areas contributed 1.7 percentage points to the 3 percent gain in gross domestic product at an annual rate in the fourth quarter and probably made a similar contribution in the past three months, he said.
That marks a shift from the period following the recession. Exports and business investment accounted for about 70 percent of the 2.4 percent growth seen in the first nine quarters of the recovery, compared with a historical contribution of about 20 percent in rebounds spanning the past five decades, according to Carson, who worked as an economist at the Commerce Department.