Poll: Economists see recovery slowing down

June 15, 2012 at 3:18 PM
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NEW YORK, June 15 (UPI) -- A survey of economists found diminished optimism about the U.S. economic recovery, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

The survey conducted by the Journal found 39 out of 53 respondents indicated their own forecasts were too optimistic. Only four indicated their predictions had not been not rosy enough, the survey said.

For the first time since September, the economists' survey found a rise in respondents indicating the threat of recession had risen in the past 30 days.

Recent data suggest the recovery is stumbling. The New York Federal Reserve Banks said Friday the pace of growth in manufacturing in the state had slowed considerably and was, by mid-June, barely expanding at all.

The Commerce Department said this week retail sales were flat in May and the April growth figure was revised lower.

Industrial production also slowed in May, the Fed said Friday.

"When you look at retail sales, when you look at industrial production, that's the guts of the economy. And if you look at those indicators they're telling you things are slowing down," said Jonathan Basile, an economist with Credit Suisse.

Economists are concerned that the recovery is headed for a collision with a brick wall, with government plans to raise taxes and cut spending and economic slowdowns in Europe and China.

Respondents to the monthly survey have not dropped their forecast to show negative growth, but their optimism for expansion has been shrinking, the Journal said.

Survey respondents predicted the U.S. economy would grow 2.2 percent in the second quarter of 2012 and 2.3 percent in the third quarter.

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