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Forecasters Continue to See a Weak Economy

For release: 10 a.m., February 13, 2009
Contact: Katherine Dibling, E-mail senior media representative, (215) 574-4119

Philadelphia, Pa. - The participants in the first-quarter Survey of Professional Forecasters, released today, have reduced their projections for growth in the first half of 2009 from the estimates made three months ago. They have increased their projections for unemployment as well as their expectations for job losses. In the special questions, the forecasters were asked about the influence they expect a fiscal stimulus package to have on real GDP over the next three years.

The forecasters expect real GDP to contract at an annual rate of 5.2 percent in the first quarter and 1.8 percent in the second quarter. They peg unemployment at 8.9 percent in the fourth quarter. They expect job losses of 548,400 per month in the first quarter, 311,200 per month in the second quarter, and 202,100 per month in the third quarter. For more details, listen to an interview with our analyst.

The Survey of Professional Forecasters is the oldest quarterly survey of macroeconomic forecasts in the United States. The survey began in 1968 and was conducted by the American Statistical Association and the National Bureau of Economic Research. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia took over the survey in 1990.

To arrange an interview with an analyst, contact Katherine Q. Dibling, the Bank's senior media representative, at (215) 574-4119. The next survey will be released at 10 a.m., Friday, May 15, 2009, and will be made available on our website.

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