January 1, 2011 -- The book on 2010 has closed and the American economy is looking better by many measures than it did at the end of 2009.
As January 2010 dawned, economists from both ends of the political spectrum were telling Americans the economy could well dip into a recession for the second time.
Everyone but the most pessimistic now are saying a double-dip almost assuredly is not going to happen.
But the recovery from the Great Recession (December 2007 -- June 2009) has been tepid.
American consumers paid down debts instead of running back to the profligate spending of the past decade.
Businesses, terrified by the speed and depth of the financial crisis, have been reluctant to part with their trillions in cash unless they are certain consumers are ready to spend again and banks are at least maintaining their credit lines.
And the mass of the Obama administration's stimulus has been expended, forcing state and local governments to start cutting back to balance their budgets as Uncle Sam's largess recedes.
Recent economic reports, though, offer some hope for a brighter tomorrow.
The holiday shopping season saw the American consumer opening up her wallet again despite a continued crisis in confidence.
While there were ups and downs thanks to the Census hiring and firing, the nation actually added jobs in 2010, something that hasn't happened since 2007.
Stocks, bonds, commodities and the U.S. dollar all posted gains during 2010 -- the first year that has happened since 2005.
Economy by the Numbers: Things Looking Up for 2011
Here are how some of the most widely monitored economic measures fared in 2010:
Dow + 11.0 percent
S&P 500 + 12.8 percent
Crude Oil + 15.2 percent (+$12.05)
Home Values +0.1percent (+$100)
Inflation Rate + 0.9 percent
Federal Deficit + 12.7percent (+$1.6 Trillion)
Dollar Exchange + 8.2 percent ($1 buys 0.75€)
Nasdaq + 16.9 percent
Gasoline + 17.0 percent(+$0.44 to $3.05)
Mortgage (30-year FRM)- 0.28 percent (4.86 percent rate)
Jobs Created + 951,000 (+0.7 percent of workforce)
Gross Domestic Product + 3.3 percent($14.7 trillion)
Trade Deficit+ 34.6 percent ($504 Billion Est.)
ABC Consumer Comfortt + 0 (first year since 2006 that its annual average wasn't lower than the year before)
NOTE: All figures are sourced from government or generally accepted private sector sources. The data reflects the data available on December 31, 2010 compared to the final release date of 2009.