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Survey: Economists see US growth pickup this year

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With the pace of US economic growth seen speeding up later this year and next, many business economists expect the Federal Reserve to end its bond purchases this fall or even earlier.

The consensus of 48 economists surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics is that bad weather cut first-quarter growth to a weak annual rate of 1.9 percent, but that growth could exceed 3 percent by year’s end.

NABE’s report, released Monday, covered a survey period from Feb. 19 through March 5.

Its forecast for average US economic growth of 2.8 percent this year is better than the 2.5 percent rate they predicted in NABE’s December survey. Those surveyed expect consumer spending to increase 2.6 percent in 2014, not 2.4 percent.

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