America’s largest body of corporate economists is warning that a significant second-half rebound in the economy is unlikely.

The latest survey of the National Association of Business Economics’ 123 members uncovered widespread pessimism about the outlook for coming months – in stark contrast to recent upbeat predictions by some analysts and government officials.

Most respondents, said the NABE, “do not expect a surge in real GDP growth during the second half of 2003.” It added that “hiring plans indicate the employment situation will remain weak for at least the next half year.”

Most NABE members forecast 1% to 3% growth in demand for goods and services – a rate considered too low to reduce unemployment. The jobs market is now so weak that wage pressures are at a 21-year nadir.

The survey, which took place at the end of June, also found a slight rise in investment, but added that this was being held back by “weak product demand”.

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff