NEW YORK May 10 Economists trimmed their
forecast for U.S. economic growth in the second and third
quarters of this year, though the unemployment rate was seen
improving more than previously thought, a survey released on
Analysts expect the economy to grow at an annual rate of 1.8
percent in the current quarter, down from the previous estimate
of 2.3 percent, according to the Philadelphia Federal Reserve's
quarterly survey of 42 forecasters.
Third quarter growth expectations were also cut to 2.3
percent from the 2.6 percent forecast in the previous survey
released in February.
Still, the year overall looked a little brighter, helped by
stronger growth expected in the final quarter. Gross domestic
product is seen at an annualized average of 2 percent in 2013,
up slightly from the previous estimate of 1.9 percent.
The labor market is expected to heal more quickly, with the
unemployment rate seen averaging 7.6 percent this year, down
from the earlier forecast of 7.7 percent
The most recent official unemployment rate released by the
government fell to 7.5 percent in April.
Inflation was expected to remain muted, with the headline
consumer price index seen averaging 1.7 percent for the year,
cut from 2 percent. But core CPI, which strips out energy and
food prices, was seen a little higher at 2 percent, up from
earlier expectations of 1.9 percent.