Fewer economists believe US policy on right track

Bull market has years to run: Pro
Bull market has years to run: Pro

The Federal Reserve's monetary policy is headed in the right direction, but the U.S. also needs to enact structural policies in order to stimulate stronger economic growth, according to a new survey released Monday.

The National Association for Business Economics' economic policy survey found 53 percent believe U.S. monetary policy is on the right track, that's down slightly compared with 57 percent in February 2014. And 39 percent felt that the current economic policy was too stimulative.

When asked how policy makers should address deficit problems and their impact on gross domestic product, 36 percent of respondents said the U.S. should enact structural policies to spur stronger GDP. Last year, only 20 percent supported this approach.

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According to the survey, a majority of economists were less concerned about fiscal policy uncertainty in comparison to earlier polls.

"While there is no clear consensus on current fiscal policy, the share expressing approval has increased markedly to 42 percent compared to just 31 percent one year ago," says NABE president Jack Kleinhenz. "Over this same period, the panel's approval of Federal Reserve policy has edged downward."

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The semiannual survey of 257 members was conducted between July 22 and August 4, around the same time as the Fed's most recent policy meeting—which concluded on July 30.

The Federal Open Market Committee intends to end its monthly asset purchases by October, but the plan hinges on whether the economy improves as it expects. However, the Fed will continue to reinvest principal payments of Treasury debt and agency mortgage-backed securities.

Some 30 percent of panelists said the Fed should stop such reinvestment by the end of 2014, but only 7 percent expect it to do so by then.

Over half of the respondents, 54 percent, said they expect the Fed to stop in 2015, while nearly a quarter, 23 percent, expect it to stop in 2016 or later.

Similar to the results of the previous survey, nearly 70 percent consider the Fed's quantitative easing a success.

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Looking forward, the majority said they expect inflation to edge higher.

Sixty-two percent said they expect the personal consumption expenditures price index to be near the Fed's goal of 2 percent within five years, while 30 percent believe PCE inflation will be significantly above the Fed's goal by that time.

However, nearly 70 percent of the those surveyed said the Fed's long-run inflation goal should stay at 2 percent.

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In terms of economic policy matters, 4 out of 5 respondents said immigration reform is in their top 10 policy priorities, with more than a quarter saying that immigration reform is a top-three policy priority.

There was also very strong support among respondents both for removing restrictions on oil exports and for accelerating approval for LNG exports.

—By CNBC's Karma Allen