CHARLESTON, W.Va. Nov 15 The U.S. economy could
expand 3 percent or more next year if Congress resolves
disagreements over the budget before the end of this year,
Richmond Federal Reserve Bank President Jeffrey Lacker said on
"Rapid and convincing progress toward fiscal sustainability
... might release a rush of pent-up spending," he said.
At the same time, the absence of a resolution to the
so-called fiscal cliff of expiring tax cuts and drastic spending
reductions could lead to a small contraction in the economy
lasting one or two quarters, Lacker cautioned.