By CASEY HARPER
THE CENTER SQUARE
(The Center Square) – Economists across the U.S. expect ongoing inflation as the growth projections for the U.S. economy have plummeted, according to a newly released survey.
The National Association for Business Economics released a survey of 234 economic experts Monday that highlights major concerns about the U.S. economy. The report found inflation ranks as a top worry for economists.
“Inflation continues to be of prominent concern for a majority of the NABE Policy Survey panel,” said NABE Policy Survey Chair Juhi Dhawan, Wellington Management. “More than three out of four (78%) panelists expect inflation to stay above 3% through the end of 2023. When asked about what can be done to mitigate high gasoline prices, 31% recommend releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and almost a quarter (24%) believe no response is necessary.”
The latest economic data showed the highest inflation in about four decades. At the same time, gas prices have risen to new highs in recent weeks.
The report comes after the Federal Reserve recently projected 2.8% GDP growth, a sharp dive from their prediction of 4% growth in December.
President Joe Biden has touted his trillions of dollars in social spending as a means to get the economy back on track, but according to the report, the majority of surveyed economists do not agree with many of President Biden’s major spending items.
“When asked which components of the Build Back Better bill (passed by the House of Representatives) should be retained, a slight majority of panelists (52%) favors the $555 billion provision to mitigate climate change, and 44% favor the $400 billion to finance universal pre-K education,” the report said. “Forty percent of panelists favor the $150 billion to support affordable housing, and just over a third (37%) supports the $315 billion provision to reduce ACA healthcare premiums and expand Medicare home health care.”
Economists also said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will only worsen these economic problems.
“Nearly all respondents believe that the war in Ukraine and the sanctions on Russia will have a negative impact on global GDP,” the report said. “Forty-five percent of panelists suggest that global GDP will decline by 0.5% or less, while 47% believe that global GDP will decline by more than 0.5%. More than three-fourths of the panelists (78%) expect the escalating conflict in Ukraine will worsen supply-chain bottlenecks, and a majority of panelists also anticipates renewable sources of energy (66%) and fossil fuels (60%) will get a boost as the Russia-Ukraine conflict escalates.”