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Economists Expect Further ’14 Growth

February 11, 2014 by   - () Comments Off on Economists Expect Further ’14 Growth

The U.S. economy is headed for stronger growth in 2014 that will steadily chip away at the unemployment rate, top economists predict in a largely optimistic USA TODAY quarterly survey.

The jobless rate, which dipped to a five-year low of 6.6% in January, will fall to 6.3% by the end of the year, their median forecast indicates.

Job gains, which averaged 194,000 a month last year, will reach a monthly average of 200,000 this year, they predict. Employers added 113,000 jobs in January, well under many economists’ forecasts, the government reported last week.

The economy got off to a slow start in January as a result of financial turmoil in emerging markets, a stomach-churning drop in stock prices and extreme winter weather that kept many shoppers at home. But the economists surveyed expect growth to accelerate after a weak first quarter, reaching a solid 2.8% rate for the year.

“I think we will regain momentum and not fall on our face,” says Diane Swonk, chief economist of Mesirow Financial, drawing a contrast with previous ups and downs in the five-year-old recovery.

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