The Associated Press uses the passive voice trick at the end of a news article previewing a speech by President Obama about the economy: "The nation's unemployment rate is expected to hover near 10 percent through the end of year."
Is expected by whom? By the editors and reporters at the Associated Press?
As with corporate earnings, the expectations game often substitutes for reality. If unemployment goes down to 8.5%, is that a big victory, even though it's higher than it was for much of the Bush administration? How can anyone know in June what the unemployment rate will be in November or December? There could be an unexpectedly strong recovery and the jobless rate could decline to 7% or less. Or there could be a double-dip recession and the jobless rate could rise to 12% or more. People may expect current conditions to continue, the same way they expected GM to remain profitable, but just because things are a certain way now doesn't mean they will be that way in three or six months.