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News Link • Government Debt & Financing

US Budget Gap Is Top Worry for NABE Economists

The massive U.S. budget deficit is the gravest threat facing the economy, topping high unemployment and the risk of inflation or deflation, according to a survey of forecasters released Monday. The National Association for Business Economics said its 47-member panel of forecasters increased its estimate for the 2011 federal deficit to $1.4 trillion from $1.1 trillion in its previous survey in November. "Panelists continue to characterize excessive federal indebtedness as their single greatest concern," with state and local government debt the second-biggest worry, the survey said. It was conducted between Jan.25 and Feb.9. Paul Sakuma / AP The panel's deficit forecast is lower than the Obama administration projection of a record $1.65 trillion this fiscal year, or 10.9 percent of U.S. gross domestic product. Although the White House budget proposes $1.1 trillion in deficit reductions over 10 years, Republicans in the House of Representatives say that is not enough.

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