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Forecasters Anticipate Stable Growth in Fourth Quarter

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia (11/17/14)

The outlook for growth in the U.S. economy over the next four years is little changed from the survey of three months ago, according to 42 forecasters surveyed by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. The forecasters expect real gross domestic product will grow at an annual rate of 2.7% this quarter, 2.8% next quarter, and 2.2% for 2014. The forecasters expect real GDP will grow 3.0% in 2015, 2.9% in 2016, and 2.7% in 2017.

An improved outlook for the unemployment rate accompanies the outlook for growth. The forecasters expect the unemployment rate will be an annual average of 6.2% in 2014, before falling to 5.6% in 2015, 5.4% in 2016, and 5.2% in 2017. The projections for 2014, 2015, and 2017 are a little below those of the last survey. The projection for 2016 remains unchanged.

On the jobs front, the panelists have revised upward their estimates for job gains in the next two quarters. The forecasters see nonfarm payroll employment growing at a rate of 221,600 jobs per month this quarter and 211,200 jobs per month next quarter. The forecasters’ projections for the annual-average level of nonfarm payroll employment suggest job gains at a monthly rate of 206,400 in 2014 and 212,300 in 2015.