Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Fed dims outlook for jobs and growth for 2011

WASHINGTON — Federal Reserve officials are more pessimistic about prospects for economic growth and employment than they were two months ago. Reporters raise their hands to ask Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke a question during a press briefing at the Federal Reserve building on June 22, 2011 in Washington, D.C.
In an updated forecast, the Fed estimated Wednesday that the economy will grow 2.7% to 2.9% this year. That's down from its April estimate of 3.1% to 3.3%. The downgraded revision is an acknowledgement that the economy has slowed, in part because consumers have been squeezed by higher gasoline prices. Growth at the rate the Fed is projecting won't be enough to significantly lower unemployment, now at 9.1%. The Fed estimates that unemployment will still be around 8.6% to 8.9% by the end of the year. The Fed's downward revisions were in line with private economists, who have also been scaling back their forecasts to reflect a batch of weaker-than-expected reports in recent weeks. The latest poll of top econ


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