Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Uncertainty over presidential election hurts US economy

A majority of business economists believe that uncertainty over the 2016 presidential election is hurting U.S. economic growth, according to a new survey released Monday by the National Association for Business Economics (NABE).

Sixty-two percent of economists said "uncertainty about the national election is holding back U.S. economic growth somewhat or significantly", while 35 percent didn't see the upcoming election in November as a headwind for the economy, the survey showed.

The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 1.2 percent in the second quarter this year, following a downwardly revised 0.8 percent gain in the first quarter, according to the Commerce Department.

That marked the third straight quarter in which the U.S. economy grew at less than 2 percent, underscoring the continuing frustration about current sluggish U.S. recovery.

Asked by which presidential candidate would do the best job as president of managing the U.S. economy, 55 percent of economists picked Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, while 15 percent chose Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson and 14 percent selected Republican nominee Donald Trump.

Economists listed increasing economic growth, fighting the extremist group Islamic State and terrorism, and tax reform among the top three priorities for the next president, according to the survey.

In terms of trade policy, 65 percent said U.S. trade policy under the next administration and Congress should become more open and free, while only 9 percent favor a more protectionist trade policy.

The survey also found that 60 percent of economists expected the Federal Reserve to raise its target for the federal funds rate above the current range of 0.25-0.5 percent by the end of this year.
 [Xinhua -china.org.cn]

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