Economists Forecast Slow Job Recovery

The unemployment rate may not fall below 6 percent until 2017, according to an official White House budget forecast Thursday.

The Office of Management and Budget also estimated the annual GDP growth for this the next few years in its mid-session review, with this year’s forecast lowered from 2.7 percent to 1.7 percent, 2012 at 2.6 percent and 2013 at 3.5 percent. However, it raised its estimates for 2015 and 2016.

The current unemployment rate of 9.1 percent is expected to gradually decline over the next few years, and economic advisers do not believe there will be a double-dip recession in the near future.

The White House lowered the expectations of its 10-year Treasury interest rate after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke pledged last week to keep rates low until mid-2013.

More tax receipts and less spending than anticipated are factors contributing to a deficit of $1.32 trillion this year, 20 percent lower than estimated in February, according to the Obama administration. Inflation will likely remain at about 2 percent over the next 10 years.

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