Business economists optimistic about growth: survey

Business economists optimistic about growth: survey
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Business economists are confident about growth in the U.S. economy this year, according to a new survey.

The National Association for Business Economics projected the economy will expand 2.9 percent in 2018, compared to a 2.5 percent projection in December. 

“NABE Outlook panelists are more optimistic about the U.S. economy in 2018 than they were three months ago, especially regarding prospects for the industrial sector of the economy,” Kevin Swift, the group’s vice president, said in a statement.

“The panel’s median forecast for average annual real gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 2018 is 2.9%, up from 2.5% in the December survey. In addition, 76% of panelists believe that risks are weighted to the upside.” 

Members of the panel cited the Republican tax-reform bill and the cut to the corporate tax rate as upside risks, NABE noted. 

“In large part, the increase in growth prospects appears related to federal fiscal policies,” said David Altig, who chaired the survey and is the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s executive vice president and director of research. 

“The median estimate of the impact on real GDP growth resulting from fiscal policy changes is an increase of 0.45 percentage points in 2018, and 0.3 percentage points in 2019.”

The survey of 51 forecasters was conducted from Feb. 28 through March 7.