Chamber of Commerce sees growth

Jan. 5, 2005 at 1:38 PM

WASHINGTON, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Wednesday predicted economic growth of around 3.7 percent in 2005.

Thomas Donohue, the chamber's president, called the U.S. economy strong, with low unemployment and inflation.

"We believe these positive trends will continue during 2005," he said. "We see growth for the year averaging about 3.7 percent. Under the right conditions, the economy could grow even faster," he said.

For instance, further declines in energy prices could propel the economy forward even more, Donohue said.

The chamber predicts business investment will expand by 8.5 percent and an average 125,000 to 150,000 jobs will be created each month, with a jobless rate around 5.3 percent.

Inflation and interest rates will increase modestly, Donohue said, and the trade picture will improve slightly because of the lower value of the dollar.

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