Economists Optimistic About U.S. Employment

Predict U.S. Unemployment To Drop To 7.5% By Close Of 2013

Economists Optimistic About U.S. EmploymentA new round of forecasts released by the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) shows greater belief among analysts that job growth in the U.S. will continue. The report, which surveyed 54 economists, predicted that U.S. unemployment will drop to 7.5% by the close of 2013, while consumer spending will increase. "Expectations for housing, vehicle sales, employment and industrial production all improved in the current survey," wrote survey chair Shawn DuBravac, commenting on the results.

Economists surveyed by NABE projected 2012 GDP growth of 2.4% and 2013 GDP growth of 2.8%. Respondents also forecasted an average of 188,000 jobs will be added monthly in 2012, a slight improvement compared to the 170,000 jobs predicted in NABE's last survey. Also, by the end of this year, economists now believe U.S. unemployment will fall to 8% after previously expecting unemployment to hit 8.5% in December. Further, economists think inflation and interest rates will stay low both in 2012 and in 2013.

NABE survey results, particularly GDP forecasts, differ from the Federal Reserve's recent predictions. The Fed has projected 2012 GDP gains of up to 2.9% and 2013 GDP gains of up to 3.1%. Currently, U.S. unemployment is 8.1%, according to the Labor Bureau of Statistics.