Economists Remain Hopeful about Jobs, Economy

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Economists are growing more optimistic as the U.S. economy is improving faster than they had expected.

According to a recent Associated Press survey, economists believe the unemployment rate will fall from 8.3 percent to 8 percent by Election Day in November.

They originally estimated it would be slightly higher at 8.4 percent.

By the end of 2013, economists predict the unemployment rate will drop to 7.4 percent. Their original estimate was 7.8

"The economy is finally starting to gain some steam, with consumers and businesses more optimistic about prospects in 2012," said Chad Moutray, chief economist at the National Association of Manufacturers.

The news comes after five straight months of declining unemployment.

However, many financial experts believe the U.S. economy remains under threat from Europe's debt crisis. But those concerns have eased, the AP survey showed.

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