HOUSTON, Jan. 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- More Americans will benefit from the economic recovery this year as fiscal uncertainty gives way and consumers and business owners start to feel more confident, according to BBVA Compass economists.
"In 2014, stronger business and consumer confidence, higher household net worth, a lower drag from fiscal policy, a surge in housing prices that boost construction activity and credit growth will support stronger regional growth," Boyd Nash-Stacey, a BBVA Compass economist, wrote in a recent report. "Our baseline is for 2014 to be the first year of growth convergence in seven years, thereby allowing the recovery to reach the most Americans since 2006." In his 2014 regional outlook, Nash-Stacey predicted that higher foreign demand — especially from Europe — and sturdier consumer confidence will boost manufacturing output, benefitting Eastern states. He expects real estate, manufacturing and energy markets will drive GDP growth in 25 states, including Utah, Oregon and Idaho, to exceed the U.S. average of 2.3 percent this year. And economic growth in Georgia, Minnesota and Pennsylvania will benefit from higher residential investment, he writes. However, he warned that the oversupply of low-skilled labor and undersupply of high-skilled workers continue to suggest that the recovery is still fragile.