You can find a prediction for how the economy will fare in 2010 to fit any point of view.

Worried about jobs? There's still a lot to worry about even as the pace of firing has slowed.

Concerned whether clients and customers will spend money? Businesses are still being extra-cautious, while U.S. consumers have yet to resume their spend-like-there's-no-tomorrow ways.

I found the 2010 forecast of IHS Global Insight interesting, primarily because it confessed that its crystal ball wasn't flawless last year.

Chief economist Nariman Behravesh said the firm got one of its 10 predictions for 2009 wrong, and that was only on order of magnitude. Last year, the Lexington, Mass., firm had thought that recessions in Europe and Japan would be the worst in two decades, but not as bad as the U.S. Downturns in Europe and Japan proved to be far deeper than forecast.

Two of its 2010 predictions are worth mentioning because they come up a lot in conversation.

First, IHS sees no risk of inflation in the U.S. in 2010. There's simply too much slack in the global economy to stoke it, Behravesh said.

Second, the risk of what's called a "W"-shaped, or double-dip, recession, is still high. IHS pegs the odds at 1-in-5. More likely is a sloooow economic recovery.

We're certainly not drowning in optimism as 2009 comes to a close, but the mood is far brighter than it was last Christmas.


It's a happy holiday season for Michael Geraghty, who will join Burlington Coat Factory Warehouse Corp. as its new chief operating officer on Jan 4.

The vice president of operations for Lord & Taylor from September 2007 to August 2008 will receive a base salary of $500,000 as the No. 2 executive at the privately held chain of 442 apparel stores based in Burlington Township.

The move reunites him with Burlington Coat CEO Thomas Kingsbury, who'd been CEO of the Filene's/Kaufmann's department store division of May Department Stores Co. when Geraghty was chairman of Filene's/Kaufmann's.

Kingsbury was hired away from Kohl's Department Stores in December 2008 to run Burlington Coat.