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Business Forecasters Predict Three Quarters of Growth

National Association for Business Economics (NABE) forecasters expect economic expansion in the next three quarters, Carl Tannenbaum, chief economist at LaSalle Bank, told “Squawk on the Street.” Tannenbaum is optimistic about construction and trade: “Construction will move ahead rather than down, and that will remove the drag on the economy,” he said.

And as a weak dollar improves the trade deficit, expect the U.S. economy to feel a jolt. Tannenbaum said that net exports, i.e., the U.S. trade deficit, “will decline for the first time since 1995, making the trade sector a contributor to GDP growth instead of a detractor.” He added, “If we get that sector moving for us, that would be a very, very important turning point.”

Gasoline prices, however, will likely push core inflation higher, he said. “The Fed is going to be on hold for the balance of this year, before considering maybe a little bit of an easing [on rate hikes] in 2008.”