The panelists lowered their projected growth of U.S. gross domestic product for 2001 as a whole to 1.6%, down from 2.0%. And for 2002, the panel reduced its growth projection to 2.7%, down from 3.1%. The survey projects a 2% contraction in business investment in 2001, followed by a 1% increase in 2002.
In contrast to the woes of companies, the economists surveyed expect consumer spending, which accounts for about two-thirds of economic demand, to grow by 3% in 2001, slightly more than anticipated in the previous survey. A major chunk of this spending will be concentrated in the home-building business, which continues to do well.