WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House is lowering its forecast for
economic growth this year and next. It says unemployment is likely
to rise as housing and financial messes and high energy prices take
The gross domestic product is estimated to grow by only 1.6
percent this year. That's down from a 2.7 percent growth projection
made in February.
The new projection is for 2.2 percent GDP growth next year, down
from the previous forecast of 3 percent.
The jobless rate is projected to move up to 5.3 percent this
year and to 5.6 percent in 2009. The old forecast called for the
jobless rate to climb to 4.9 percent this year and next.
And consumer prices are now expected to rise by 3.8 percent this
year, up from the administration's old forecast for a 2.7-percent
rise. Prices should calm down a bit next year, rising by 2.3
percent. Still, that's also higher than the old forecast of a 2.1
The new forecasts were contained in the budget office's updated
look at the nation's balance sheets, which projected a record 482
billion-dollar budget deficit.