US economists see healthy growth in second half of this year

WASHINGTON, July 2 (Xinhuanet) -- The US economy will enjoy steady expansion for the second half of this year with unemployment falling and the inflation rate abating, according to the Wall Street Journal on Friday.

In its midyear survey of 55 forecasters, the paper said that the US gross domestic product (GDP) is projected to grow at an annual rate of 4.4 percent in both the second and third quarters and 4.2 percent in the final quarter of this year.

The survey also predicted a slower growth of 3.7 percent during the first half of 2005.

The survey showed that US economists were not too concerned about two trends that seem to be worrying the Wall Street -- the inflation and interest rates. Only 40 percent of economists characterized rising prices as "worrisome", while 60 percent said that the inflationary pressure were due to temporary factors such as high food and oil prices. On average, economists expected that US consumer prices will rise at a year-over-year rate of 2.9 percent by November, lower than the 3.1 percent reading in May.

The US Federal Reserve (Fed) is expected to continue increasing the short-term interest rate in the coming months but economists surveyed said that the moves will not derail the US economic recovery.


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