ECONOMY WATCH….Most market watchers seem to have become slightly more optimistic about the economy lately, but not the Fed:
Under its new economic forecast, the Fed said it now believes gross domestic product will grow between just 0.3 percent to 1.2 percent this year. That’s lower than a previous Fed forecast, released in late February, that estimated growth to be between 1.3 percent and 2 percent.
In addition to lowering their GDP estimate, the Fed also increased their estimate of unemployment as well as their estimate of the inflation rate. Apparently their growing pessimism was driven by skyrocketing oil prices, continued softening in the housing market, and the ongoing credit debacle.