US economy to grow at modest rate

THE United States economy will grow at a sustainable, modest rate through the end of next year, keeping it out of recession without threatening rapidly escalating prices, leading business economists predicted yesterday.

The consensus of the 43 professional forecasters suggests that economic growth will be at an annual rate of between 2.5 percent and 2.6 percent during each of the five quarters beginning in the final three months of 1994.

The gross domestic product, the total output of goods and services produced in the US, rose 3 percent last year and shot up to a 3.8 percent rate during the second quarter.

A survey conducted in early September by the National Association of Business Economists found that forecasters were projecting inflation - measured by the government's Consumer Price Index - of just 2.7 percent this year and 3.3 percent in 1995.

The economists estimated that economic activity slowed to a 2.3 percent rate in the three months ending Friday, less than their 3 percent forecast in May.

Still, there have been signs that the economy and inflation continue to heat up, including a big jump in industrial production last month and a surge in prices before they reach the retail level.

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