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Business Roundtable raises U.S. forecast for 2011

Business Roundtable raises U.S. forecast for 2011 (by Jeffry Bartash)

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - A majority of chief executives of the largest U.S. companies plan to hire more workers and they see growth accelerating faster than previously expected, according to a quarterly survey. The Business Roundtable now expects the U.S. economy to grow by 2.9% in 2011, up from a prior forecast of 2.5%. Some 52% of CEOs surveyed plan to hire more workers in the next six months. That's up from 45% in the fourth-quarter survey. And 92% say sales will increase, compared with 80% in the prior quarter. None said sales would decline. The roundtable represents companies with nearly $6 trillion in annual sales and 12 million workers.