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Forecasters Lower Economic Growth Estimates

May 13 2011

U.S. real gross domestic product will grow at an annual rate of 3.2 percent this quarter – down from previous estimates of 3.5 percent, according to 44 forecasters surveyed by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia in its quarterly survey of professional forecasters. The forecasters also predict slower real GDP growth over the next four years.

Real GDP will grow 2.7 percent in 2011, down from an estimate of 3.2 percent in the last survey. The forecasters lowered their previous real GDP growth estimates for the coming years to 3.0 percent in 2012, 2.8 percent in 2013, and 3.3 percent in 2014.

The U.S. unemployment rate for 2011 will be 8.7 percent, the forecasters predict. Unemployment will continue to fall in the coming years to 8.1 percent in 2012, 7.5 percent in 2013, and 7.0 percent in 2014.

Meanwhile, nonfarm payroll employment will gain an average of 191,100 jobs per month this quarter and 194,500 jobs per month next quarter, the forecasters estimate.

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