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Economist: ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’

UCLA Anderson Forecast sees slowdown in growth

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Economists with the Anderson Forecast at the University of California, Los Angeles, say unseasonably warm weather gave the economy a false lift in January and February, and that economic growth is expected to cool for the rest of the year.Real U.S. gross domestic product grew at a 3 percent annual rate in the final three months of 2011. In its first quarterly report of 2012, the UCLA Anderson Forecast predicts real GDP growth slowed to an annual rate of 2 percent during the first quarter of the year, and will remain there for most of 2012.UCLA Anderson Forecast senior economist David Shulman, in an essay titled "Curb Your Enthusiasm," argues that the weather was a key factor in the consumer economy, with low worker absenteeism, plummeting natural gas prices, and lower home-heating bills goosing labor markets.Although 227,000 new jobs were created in January and 284,000 in February, the stronger employment numbers don't appear to have translated into stronger growth in GDP....