U.S. businesses have grown a bit more cheerful on growth this year but think the country's huge current account deficit spells a weaker dollar, according to a survey released Monday.
In a November poll of 32 forecasters from the National Association for Business Economics, half said a fall in the dollar would be the key tool in reducing the deficit. The same concerns drove the dollar to a record low against the euro last week.
This notwithstanding, the survey also expected U.S. stocks to rise next year and lowered the projected path of long-term U.S. bond yields by 40 to 50 basis points compared with September forecasts, NABE said in a statement.
"The so-called soft patch is receding into the background, providing a strong backdrop to the holiday selling season," said Carl Tannenbaum, chairman of the NABE Outlook survey.
The poll saw U.S. GDP growth of 4.4 percent this year versus a prediction of 4.3 percent in September while the outlook for 2005 was trimmed a tenth of a percentage point to 3.6 percent.
The economists, surveyed between Nov. 4-12, predicted unemployment shrinking to 5.2 percent in 2005 with U.S. employers adding 2.2 million new jobs, while core inflation remained tame.