It may turn out to be a glass-half-full kind of year after all.

On Monday, Vanguard released a new research paper —“2011 U.S. economic outlook: Cautious Optimism”—by economist Joseph H. Davis and his Investment Strategy Group, which points to a stronger-than-expected economic recovery in the second half of 2011. Davis and his team are cautiously optimistic after data from the Vanguard Economic Momentum Index (VEMI), which tracks more than 70 individual components of the U.S. economy, found that for the first time in five years all signs point to better-than-expected job growth.

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