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Unchanged Outlook for Growth, but Brighter Outlook for Labor Markets

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia (02/13/15)

The outlook for growth in the U.S. economy over the next three years has changed little from the survey of three months ago, according to 39 forecasters surveyed by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. The forecasters predict real gross domestic product will grow at an annual rate of 2.7% this quarter and 3.0% next quarter. On an annual-average to annual-average basis, real GDP will grow 3.2% in 2015, up 0.2 percentage point from the previous estimate. The forecasters predict real GDP will grow 2.9% in 2016, 2.7% in 2017, and 2.7% in 2018.

The forecasters predict that the unemployment rate will be an annual average of 5.4% in 2015, before falling to 5.1% in 2016, 5.0% in 2017, and 4.9% in 2018. The projections for 2015, 2016, and 2017 are below those of the last survey. The forecasters have revised upward their estimates for job gains in the next four quarters. The forecasters see nonfarm payroll employment growing at a rate of 269,300 jobs per month this quarter, 233,800 jobs per month next quarter, 222,000 jobs per month in the third quarter of 2015, and 229,400 jobs per month in the fourth quarter.