Forecasters See Stronger U.S. Growth


The U.S. economy and jobs market are expected to grow more strongly in the first quarter than previously expected, according to a survey of forecasters released Friday.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's survey of 43 professional forecasters sees the economy growing at an annual rate of 3.6% in the current quarter, up from the estimate of 2.4% three months ago.

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They see the economy growing at an annual rate of 3.5% in the second quarter, up from 2.7% previously.

The unemployment rate was forecast to be 9.3% in the fourth quarter, below the previous estimate of 9.5%.

Also, forecasters revised upward jobs growth expected the next four quarters.

Forecasters see nonfarm payroll employment growing at a rate of 129,100 jobs per month this quarter and 188,300 per month next quarter, up from previous expectations of 104,200 and 144,300, respectively.

Forecasters expect core consumer price inflation to be 1.0% in the first quarter, down slightly from the 1.1% expected in the last survey.

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