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NABE: U.S. economy to grow at 2.4% rate in 2012

NABE: U.S. economy to grow at 2.4% rate in 2012 (by Mike Maynard)

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- Economists expect the U.S. recovery to pick up a little more speed during the latter half of 2012, according to the latest survey by the National Association for Business Economics. The group's outlook panel of 45 forecasters projects growth in U.S. gross domestic product at 2.4%, skewed slightly toward the second half. In addition, a summary of NABE's February survey shows expectations for an average unemployment rate of 8.3%, as the economy adds some 170,000 jobs a month for 2012. A recovery in housing is forecast to take hold, with housing starts pegged to rise 19% from 2011, to 700,000 units, and with real residential investment improving to a 6.6% increase for 2012 and to 10% growth for 2013. The NABE survey respondents continue to believe that spending growth by businesses will be strong but that consumer spending will remain subdued.