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Forecasters Predict Higher Growth and Lower Unemployment Over the Next Three Years

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia (02/14/14)

The outlook for growth in the U.S. economy over the next three years looks stronger than that of three months ago, according to 45 forecasters surveyed by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. On an annual-average over annual-average basis, the forecasters predict faster real GDP growth in 2014, 2015, and 2016. The forecasters see real GDP growing 2.8% in 2014, up from their prediction of 2.6% in the last survey. The forecasters predict real GDP will grow 3.1% in 2015, higher than their prediction of 2.8% in the last survey.

A brighter outlook for the unemployment rate accompanies the more positive outlook for growth. The forecasters predict that the unemployment rate will be an annual average of 6.5% in 2014, before falling to 6.1% in 2015, 5.7% in 2016, and 5.5% in 2017. The projections for 2014, 2015, and 2016 are better than those of the last survey.

On the jobs front, the forecasters see little change in job growth in 2014. The forecasters’ projections for the annual-average level of nonfarm payroll employment suggest job gains at a monthly rate of 187,700 in 2014 and 206,900 in 2015.