NEW YORK (Reuters) – Economists cut their forecasts for U.S. economic growth in the second quarter and full year, and trimmed expectations for U.S. labor market gains.
Economists see the economy growing at an annual rate of 2.5 percent in the current quarter, according to the Philadelphia Federal Reserve’s quarterly survey of 44 forecasters, released on Friday. In last quarter’s survey, released in February, growth for this quarter was forecast at 3.0 percent.
Third-quarter 2015 growth was forecast at 3.1 percent, up from an estimate of 2.8 percent in February’s survey, though full-year growth for 2015 was forecast at 2.4 percent, down from the previous estimate of 3.2 percent.
The pace of hiring was expected to decelerate in the current quarter compared with previous expectations, with an average rate of monthly nonfarm job growth seen around 195,300 versus a previous forecast of 233,800. For the third quarter, job growth is expected to average 223,300, a touch higher than the prior forecast of 222,000.
Hiring should average 243,900 a month for all of 2015, compared with the prior full-year forecast of 252,500.
The jobless rate was expected to be 5.4 percent at the end of the current quarter and 5.3 percent by the end of the third quarter. The February survey had forecast a rate of 5.5 percent by the end of the current quarter.
The most recent official unemployment rate released by the government showed the jobless rate in April at 5.4 percent.
(Reporting by Dan Burns; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)
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