- - Sunday, May 15, 2011

SURVEY

GDP prognosticators foresee slower growth

NEW YORK — Economists are dialing back their expectations for U.S. economic growth this year.

A survey from the National Association for Business Economics predicts that gross domestic product will grow 2.8 percent this year - down from the group’s February prediction that it would grow 3.3 percent. The outlook for consumer spending and the housing market also weakened, in part because economists expect oil prices to remain above $100 a barrel through 2012.

In a survey that the NABE to be released Monday, a panel of 41 economists also said they “remain highly concerned” about the growing federal deficit and that growth in the first three months of the year had been weaker than expected.

The predictions of the economists reflect the jitteriness of a public that is still recovering from the financial crisis and now getting squeezed by rising prices for gas, groceries and other household items. Retailers of all stripes are paying more for the raw materials they need to make and transport their products, such as fuel, cotton and wood pulp, and saying they have no choice but to pass along the price increases to customers.

LAYOFFS

Northrop Grumman cuts to hit Baltimore area

BALTIMORE — Defense contractor Northrop Grumman says it plans to lay off about 200 employees, mostly in the Baltimore region.

Company spokesman Jack Martin Jr. said Friday that most layoffs will be at four Baltimore-area locations: the Electronic Systems division’s Linthicum headquarters and facilities in Annapolis, Sykesville and Elkridge. Locations in Virginia, Connecticut and Florida will also be affected.

Mr. Martin said about 600 employees were approved for buyouts, mostly in Maryland, but there weren’t enough to avoid layoffs. Employees whose jobs are being eliminated will be notified on Tuesday, and their last workday will be May 31.

TREASURY

Price rises on 10-year note as inflation fears wane

NEW YORK — Treasury prices rose Friday after a government report showed that inflation remains tame.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note rose 43 cents per $100 invested late Friday. Its yield, which moves in the opposite direction, fell to 3.17 percent from 3.23 percent late Thursday.

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