Terrorism has moved above energy prices as the top risk to the U.S. economy, a survey by the National Association of Business Economists (NABE) showed March 13. The survey reported that 26% of the 192 economists surveyed placed terrorism as the major short-term worry for the economy, up from 20% in a September survey. The fear about terrorism was the highest in the NABE survey since August 2004, when 40% cited it as the leading risk.

Energy costs remained the number two concern, cited by 23% of economists as a top risk, down from 30% in September.

The U.S. budget deficit was another problem, cited by 14% as the leading risk. Four percent cited this as the top risk to the economy but only 21% said the gap is a major threat. Thirty-two percent thought the problem was greater for the creditor nations than for the United States.

"NABE members believe that the market can handle the trade deficit, and that it is not a major problem for U.S. employment," says Stuart Hoffman, NABE president and chief economist at PNC Financial Services Group. "The federal deficit is a much larger problem, and economists have little confidence it will be addressed."

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006