(Newsroom America) -- The U.S. economy will continue to expand over the next year, despite risks from the European sovereign debt crisis and the "fiscal cliff" confronting the federal government, according to Bloomberg BNA's midyear Economic Outlook just released.
The consensus forecast of 16 economists surveyed in June calls for the unemployment rate to decline from 8.2 percent currently to 7.8 percent on average in 2013.
In addition, the inflation rate will remain low, at around 1.8 percent to 1.9 percent this year and next, and most analysts expect Federal Reserve policymakers to keep its target interest rate at historic lows until at least the third quarter of 2014.
The forecast picks the pace of growth will pick up slightly in 2012, with real gross domestic product increasing 2.1 percent in 2012 and 2.5 percent in 2013.
It said employment gains will average 136,000 jobs per month in the second half of 2012, accelerating to 153,000 jobs per month in the first half of 2013.
The unemployment rate will average 8.1 percent this year and 7.8 percent in 2013, it predicted, and the consumer price index will rise 1.8 percent in 2012 and 1.9 percent next year.
The middle point when the economists predict dates for the first increase in the Federal Funds Rate is the third quarter of 2014.