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Economists projected only 0.2% growth in U.S. real gross domestic product this quarter, down from an estimate of 1.3% made three months ago, according to the latest Survey of Professional Forecasters released today by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
Economists don't expect GDP to contract in any of the next five quarters. However, they lowered their estimate of GDP growth for the third quarter to 1.7% from 2.8%, the fourth quarter to 1.8% from 2.8%, and first-quarter 2009 to 2.3% from 3.1%.
Economists estimated 5.1% unemployment in this quarter, moving up to 5.5% in the fourth quarter.
They also expect the U.S. will lose around 45,000 jobs a month in the second quarter and 4,800 month in the third quarter, according to the report. The U.S. would start gaining jobs again in the fourth quarter.