NABE Survey Sees Tepid Growth Through 2013

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The latest outlook survey by the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) indicates that economists see a “tepid, albeit improving” outlook developing for the United States.

Respondents to the October survey expect inflation-adjusted growth in gross domestic product of 1.9% in 2012, then rising to 2.4% for 2013. That’s less than the pace of growth expected in the group’s May 2012 survey, when economists forecast 3.1% growth by the end of next year. But growth is expected to improve with each succeeding quarter.

However, NABE’s survey forecasts an uptick in the jobless rate to 8.1% in the fourth quarter, then eventually falling to 7.8% by the end of 2013. Monthly job growth in 2013 is expected to average 155,000 nonfarm payrolls.

As for consumer spending, the panel of 44 professional forecasters sees growth of 1.9% in 2012, followed by 2% for 2013.

The survey also predicts housing starts at 750,000 units in 2012, compared with a forecast in May of 720,000. Starts will hit 850,000 in 2013, respondents said.

The economists on average do not expect the so-called fiscal cliff to materialize, the survey found. But the views of NABE panelists varied widely on the future of various tax cuts.