Is this the year the US economy finally takes off?

Despite a slow start in 2014, many econ­o­mists say, “Yes.” Of course, they’ve said that before, in 2011, 2012, and 2013, but this time, they say, is different.

Con­sumers are spending, home prices are rising, and stock mar­kets are soaring, while the fed­eral tax hikes, spending cuts, and gov­ern­ment shut­downs that weighed on the economy last year are in the past. Job growth, if unspec­tac­ular, has been solid.

All signs point to this as finally the time the economy is about to accel­erate,” said Bill Cheney, chief econ­o­mist at John Han­cock Finan­cial Ser­vices. “The strength we started to see in the second half of last year, and we are seeing now, is for real.”

The latest sign came Friday, when the Labor Depart­ment reported that US employers boosted pay­rolls by 192,000 jobs in March, after adding 197,000 jobs in Feb­ruary. More people entered the labor force, and more found employ­ment in March; the job­less rate held steady at 6.7 percent.

Read the article at The Boston Globe →