Merrill Revises Economic Forecast

By John S. McClenahen Rising energy prices and rising interest rates have Merrill Lynch & Co. revising its economic growth forecasts. The New York-based securities firm expects the current quarter to post an inflation-adjusted 4% annual growth rate in GDP before slowing to a 3.5% annual rate in both the third and fourth quarters of this year. The slowdown, Merrill projects, will become more pronounced in 2005: a 3.2% growth rate in the first quarter, 3% in the second quarter, 3% in the third quarter and 2.8% in the fourth quarter. During the rest of this year Merrill expects the quarterly Consumer Price Index to run at least one percentage point higher than it had earlier forecast. And Merrill expects the influential federal funds rate, now at 1%, to be at 1.75% at the end of 2004 and at 3% at yearend 2005.

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.