NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Economists Project Steady Growth

February 25, 1997

A survey of the 228 members of the National Association of Business Economists showed a strong consensus that the economy will continue to expand with steady growth and low inflation for at least two more years.

  • The median forecast by the business economists for gross domestic product growth was 2.6 percent for this year and 2 percent next year.
  • The median annual-growth forecast for 1998 to 2002 was 2.3 percent -- which would make the current economic expansion the longest in American history.
  • Three-fourths said that while they still believe a strong job market could trigger inflation, "the level of unemployment at which inflation increases is not sharply defined."

In the past, many economists have believed that an unemployment rate of about 6 percent would trigger higher inflation. But that assumption is increasingly being questioned.

More than 10 percent of those surveyed believe that growth in government spending, rising income inequality, poor work training, and slow growth in living standards and productivity were among the most serious problems the U. S. economy faces today.

Source: Jacob M. Schlesinger, "Economists Expect Good Times to Roll at Least Two Years," Wall Street Journal, February 25, 1997.


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