Survey: Growth to pick up, hiring steady

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. business economists are expressing more optimism.

A survey by the National Association of Business Economists predicts that U.S. economic growth should accelerate in the second quarter and remain healthy for the rest of this year. But the economists say growth for the full year will likely come in lower than they previously estimated.

The forecast says job growth should remain steady and consumer spending will also likely pick up.

The survey also found that economists increasingly agree that the Federal Reserve will end its bond purchase program by the end of this year.

Economists expect the economy will jump to 3.5 percent in the second quarter and remain above 3 percent for the rest of the year. The pickup comes after harsh winter weather caused the nation's gross domestic product to contract 1 percent in the first three months of the year.

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