Forecasters see economy gaining strength this year and next

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new survey finds economists are expecting much stronger growth this year and next.

The National Association for Business Economics survey finds’ a median forecast of 3.1 percent growth in real gross domestic product in 2015, compared a 2.4 percent gain in real GDP last year.

NABE President John Silvia, who’s also the chief economist of Wells Fargo, says there’s promising news for jobs too. The panelists’ median forecast is for net job creation to average approximately 250,000 per month in 2015 and 216,000 per month next year. NABE says the unemployment rate is expected to continue its downward trend over the next several quarters, reaching 5 percent by the second half of 2016.

As for what the Federal Reserve will do, Silva says 88 percent of the panelists believe the Fed will start tightening monetary policy in the second or third quarter of 2015.

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