About 200 economists surveyed by a leading U.S. business association say they anticipate continuing growth in the U.S. economy, despite war-related risks.
The corporate economists say current government policy of fiscal and monetary expansion is appropriate. They are not concerned with the impact of the large budget deficits resulting from increases in government spending intended to boost economic activity.
The U.S. economy probably emerged from its first recession since 1991 early last year, but growth since then has been sluggish and overall the recovery has failed to create new jobs.
Tim O'Neill, president of the National Association for Business Economics, says terrorism and the war in Iraq pose threats to the still fragile year-old recovery.
"Our members who were surveyed feel that the largest single risk is geo-political," he said. "So that clearly is going to continue to be there until the war in Iraq is resolved and over with in some form."
Despite the risks, Mr. O'Neill does not believe the economy will slip back into recession.
"My own view is that it is a relatively remote possibility," he said. "The shock of some unforeseen event clearly could be a factor here."
Mr. O'Neill worries about another September 11-like terrorist attack which would have a severe economic impact. Concerning the war in Iraq, the airline industry has been the most adversely impacted with advance travel bookings way down. Airlines have responded with yet another round of layoffs and reductions in flight schedules.