Over the last two years, Lou Crandall has been among the most accurate forecasters of the U.S. economy. Crandall believes, because the economy is recovering from such low levels, the progress that has been made has yet to generate a sense that things are moving in the right direction. Still, he feels the economic recovery will continue, though at a slow pace. According to an outlook released by The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the housing market will also improve in 2011, backed by a surge in residential investment. The Fed expects housing starts to reach a total of 690,000 in 2011. In 2009, starts totaled just 550,000. And analysts at Capital Economics note that, despite issues of buyer confidence and foreclosure moratoriums, affordability and low rates offer prospective homebuyers the best conditions in the last 30 years.