WASHINGTON, March 25 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. economic growth is expected to sharply slow down over the next two years, a survey by the National Association of Business Economics (NABE) showed Monday.
According to the March 2019 NABE Outlook Survey, U.S. economic growth, as measured by real gross domestic product (GDP), is projected to slow to 2.4 percent in 2019 and further decelerate to 2.0 percent in 2020.
The estimate for full-year 2018 growth is 2.9 percent, and the NABE's December survey projected that the 2019 growth would be 2.7 percent. The latest survey, in which a total of 55 professional forecasters were polled, was conducted between Feb. 22 and March 7.
"The panel has turned less optimistic about the outlook since the previous survey, as three-quarters of respondents see risks tilted to the downside, and only six percent perceive risks to the upside," said NABE President Kevin Swift.
U.S. protectionist trade policy toward its major trading partners coupled with sluggish growth pace of the world GDP have been cited by the panelists as main reasons for the slowdown.
"A majority of panelists sees external headwinds from trade policy and slower global growth as the primary downside risks to growth," Survey Chair Gregory Daco said.
In light of recent U.S. trade policy and other nations' reactions, 72 percent of panelists have lowered their forecasts for 2019, with 58 percent of them lowering their forecasts by 0.01 to 0.25 percentage points, and 13 percent by 0.25 to 0.150 percentage points, the survey has found.
The economists put the odds of a recession starting in 2019 at around 20 percent, and the possibility of a recession by the end of 2020 at 35 percent.
"In part, this reflects the Federal Reserve's dovish policy U-turn in January," Daco said. "A near-majority of panelists anticipates only one more interest rate hike in this cycle compared to the three hikes forecasted in the December survey."
The Fed left interest rates unchanged after concluding a two-day policy meeting on Wednesday, with 11 of the 17 officials who participated in setting interest-rate policy predicting no rate hikes whatsoever this year, and the rest of the six participants foreseeing between one and two increases.
Fed Chairman Jerome Powell told a press conference Wednesday that participants of the Federal Open Market Committee "now see 2019 growth at roughly 2 percent, with the unemployment rate remaining below 4 percent," and core inflation rate, which omits the volatile food and energy prices, remains close to 2 percent.
The Trump administration, however, offered a far rosier prospect. In the latest Economic Report of the President -- a document compiled by the White House Council of Economic Advisers -- the administration expected real U.S. economic output to expand at an annual rate of 3 percent between 2018 and 2029, assuming that Congress fully approves the president's economic agenda.