Experts: U.S. Recovery Stronger Than Expected

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America's leading economists say matters are starting to look up for the U.S. economy.

Forty-six economists surveyed by USA Today say consumers are doing more spending, manufacturers are producing more goods to meet that demand, and exports are increasing.

"I think we've gotten to a point where it's a self-sustaining recovery," Standard & Poor's chief economist David Wyss said.

"I feel more confident ... there'll be no relapse," said Stuart Hoffman, chief economist of PNC Financial Services Group.

Still, most of those surveyed believe the recovery will be weaker than normal.

Even so, financial experts say the upturn should lead to higher prices at the pump.

"The economic health of the U.S. is getting better," said Victor Shum, an energy analyst with consultancy Purvin & Gertz in Singapore. "The positive economic data has supported the increasing confidence among investors, and that's bullish for oil."

The price of gas is expected to rise over $3.00 a gallon this summer, possibly slowing down the economic expansion.

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