"We're at a point where businesses are going to start taking more risk,'' Zandi said. He also predicted the economy will reach full employment, with a 5.5% jobless rate, by late 2016 or early 2017 at the latest, he said.
The conviction is bolstered by newly announced improvements in manufacturing data, and especially reports that auto sales have rebounded to an annual pace of more than 16.3 million units, he said. The next step is to see a spring rebound in housing, which he said would drive improvement in small-business hiring.
Job growth, as measured by ADP, fell by half between November and January. The March report shows that the monthly gains are still about 50,000 short of where they were when the economy began to cook in the fall.
If ADP is right, the March report is a crocus, and the larger blooms will be in plain sight by May.
This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.