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Economists forecast weaker growth, employment

November 13 2007

Economists lowered their estimates for growth for the remainder of the year and the first half of 2008 while projecting a weaker labor market, according to the fourth-quarter Survey of Professional Forecasters released today by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. This is the third survey where growth is forecast to be weaker.

The economists forecast that real gross domestic product in the fourth quarter will grow at of 1.5%, instead of 2.7% in their last quarterly forecast. For 2008, economists forecast that GDP will grow at 2.2% in the first quarter of 2008 instead of the previous forecast of 2.7%.

Forecasters also predicted nonfarm payroll employment gains will average 152,000 per month in 2007 and 104,000 per month in 2008. In addition, they estimated an annual average unemployment rate of 4.9% in 2008, compared with a forecast of 4.6% for this year.

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