Fed survey: Economy to get better in 2013 despite 'cliff'

2012-12-03T17:00:00Z 2012-12-03T20:19:29Z Fed survey: Economy to get better in 2013 despite 'cliff'Bowdeya Tweh bowdeya.tweh@nwi.com, (219) 933-3316 nwitimes.com
December 03, 2012 5:00 pm  • 

Participants in a Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago survey expect the the U.S. economy to grow at an annual rate of 2.3 percent in 2013, which would be an improvement from growth of 1.7 percent expected this year.

At the 26th annual Economic Outlook Symposium Friday, the Chicago Fed released a consensus outlook forecasting the components of real gross domestic product and other key economic measures. The 39 survey respondents were economists, business people and members of academia, said William Strauss, senior economist and economic adviser with the Chicago Fed.

Strauss said results show respondents expect some federal spending cuts and tax hikes to hit the U.S. economy next year, but the force of those impacts likely will be muted. Consumer spending will rise at a "moderate pace" in 2013 and the pace of business spending is "expected to strengthen' next year, according to a news release.

The forecast also said the Consumer Price Index is expected to average 2 percent this year and 2.1 percent in 2013. The CPI is a measure of inflation that tracks the monthly changes in prices paid by urban consumers on a sample of goods and services.

Respondents also said car and light truck sales are expected to close 2012 at 14.3 million and rise to 15 million units sold in 2013.

The U.S. unemployment rate is expected to be 7.6 percent by the end of 2013. The nation's seasonally adjusted jobless rate in November was 7.9 percent. 

Participants surveyed also expect the West Texas Intermediate benchmark for crude oil to rise to $93.75 a barrel in 2013. Crude for January delivery traded at $88.96 a barrel late Monday afternoon.

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