Survey: U.S. Economy's Growth Will Slow This Year - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Survey: U.S. Economy's Growth Will Slow This Year

USATODAY.COM - The U.S. economy's growth will slow this year after a blast of stronger growth in late 2011, leaving the 8.5% unemployment rate about where it is now on Election Day, according to USA TODAY's quarterly survey of economists.

The economy will grow at an 2.2% annual rate the first half of 2012 after an estimated 3.1% gain in fourth-quarter gross domestic product, according to the median forecast of the 48 economists surveyed. The government reports on fourth-quarter GDP Friday.

The biggest reason for slower growth is that a late-2011 bounce back from the effects of the Japanese earthquake last March won't last, according to Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial. Slower growth will help keep unemployment at 8.4% or higher through year's end, economists predict.

"The little improvement we saw was partly catch-up; the retail recovery at Christmas was more hype than reality," Swonk says. "Consumer confidence is still at recession levels, just not at depression levels."

The good news:

Measuring the economy

•The risk of another U.S. recession is falling. The median estimate of USA TODAY's panel call it only a 22% probability in the next 12 months.

•Europe's financial crisis will shave only a quarter of a percentage point from this year's U.S. growth, the economists said.

•More than 90% of the economists think home prices have either already bottomed out or will by the end of this year.

•The Federal Reserve won't raise interest rates until the second half of 2013, half the experts says. Nearly as many say it will be 2014 or later.

The not-so-good news:

•Job growth will slow to a monthly pace of 144,000 new jobs early this year, after an estimated rise of 165,000 a month in the fourth quarter, the panel predicted. In fact, the economy produced an average of 137,000 new jobs a month in the fourth quarter, driven by December's better-than-expected gain of 200,000 new jobs..

•Employment won't return to what's considered a healthy level until 2014 or later, the economists unanimously agreed.

The expected slowing of growth has Wall Street betting that the Federal Reserve will do more to rekindle the economy, possibly as soon as this week's policymaking meeting of the Fed's Open Market Committee Tuesday and Wednesday. It might decide to pump as much as $1 trillion into the economy by buying mortgage-backed bonds from banks and institutions, Miller Tabak & Co. economic strategist Andrew Wilkinson says.

"The Fed is underwhelmed by the recovery," he says. "They see the recovery hampered by the housing market, which is not going away anytime soon, and it's causing employment gains to be lightweight."

On Monday, a new economic forecast predicted that while U.S. economy should make some modest growth strides this year, it likely won't be quite enough to significantly reduce the number of jobless Americans looking for work.

About two-thirds of the economists who participated in the latest National Association for Business Economics survey expect GDP to grow above a 2% annual rate this year, according to the Los Angeles-based group's outlook released Monday.

The latest forecast is in line with one issued by the group in November that called for the economy to grow 2.4% in 2012.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Coeur d’ Alene woman dies after driving car into Fernan Lake

    Coeur d’ Alene woman dies after driving car into Fernan Lake

    Monday, April 23 2018 1:41 PM EDT2018-04-23 17:41:13 GMT

    On Sunday at about 3:22 p.m., the Kootenai County Sheriff’s 911 Center received multiple calls after a car crashed into Fernan Lake, just east of Coeur d' Alene. The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office, Kootenai County Fire & Rescue and Kootenai County EMS responded to the 4800 Block of E. Fernan Lake Road. Emergency Public Safety Divers from the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office Dive Rescue Team were paged to the scene and about 27 minutes after the first 911 call,...

    >>

    On Sunday at about 3:22 p.m., the Kootenai County Sheriff’s 911 Center received multiple calls after a car crashed into Fernan Lake, just east of Coeur d' Alene. The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office, Kootenai County Fire & Rescue and Kootenai County EMS responded to the 4800 Block of E. Fernan Lake Road. Emergency Public Safety Divers from the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office Dive Rescue Team were paged to the scene and about 27 minutes after the first 911 call,...

    >>
  • Spokane Japanese restaurant destroyed in early morning fire

    Spokane Japanese restaurant destroyed in early morning fire

    Sunday, April 22 2018 8:21 PM EDT2018-04-23 00:21:59 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Update: Spokane firefighters say the iconic Shogun restaurant on E. 3rd Ave. appears to be a total loss after an early morning fire destroyed the building. First arriving companies found heavy fire coming through the roof of the Shogun Restaurant and immediately began to attack the fire. Despite attempts to enter the building, they were quickly forced out due to deteriorating conditions above them.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Update: Spokane firefighters say the iconic Shogun restaurant on E. 3rd Ave. appears to be a total loss after an early morning fire destroyed the building. First arriving companies found heavy fire coming through the roof of the Shogun Restaurant and immediately began to attack the fire. Despite attempts to enter the building, they were quickly forced out due to deteriorating conditions above them.

    >>
  • Colorado woman facing $500 fine for saving airline snack

    Colorado woman facing $500 fine for saving airline snack

    Sunday, April 22 2018 7:13 PM EDT2018-04-22 23:13:54 GMT

    DENVER  - A Colorado woman says she's facing a $500 fine from U.S. Customs and Border Patrol after she saved a free apple she received from an airline on her way home from Paris. Crystal Tadlock said flight attendants on her Delta Air Lines flight from Paris handed out apples in plastic bags near the end of the flight. 

    >>

    DENVER  - A Colorado woman says she's facing a $500 fine from U.S. Customs and Border Patrol after she saved a free apple she received from an airline on her way home from Paris. Crystal Tadlock said flight attendants on her Delta Air Lines flight from Paris handed out apples in plastic bags near the end of the flight. 

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/