WASHINGTON, July 13 (UPI) -- U.S. economic forecasters say lower oil prices and gains in the automotive and housing sectors offer signs the economy will improve slightly in coming months.
The New York Times said Friday economists expect growth to pick up over the next few months although the pace will remain sluggish.
The consulting group Macroeconomic Advisers estimates the annual rate of growth in the second quarter at just 1.2 percent but projected growth to accelerate to around 2.4 percent in the third quarter, the newspaper said.
"The pace of economic growth is picking up, but not to a rate that is very robust," Joel Prakken, the chairman of Macroeconomic Advisers, was quoted as saying. "It certainly is no great shakes."
James Bullard, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, said in a speech this week he expects to see modest economic growth in the second half of 2012, as well as a slow, intermittent decline in unemployment, the newspaper said Friday.