U.S. Economy to Grow 2.5% Next Year, Wells Fargo’s Silvia Says

The U.S. economy is growing “a little bit quicker” and should expand by 2.5 percent next year, said John Silvia, chief economist at Wells Fargo Securities LLC in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“We definitely have improvement going on in the U.S. economy,” Silvia said today in a radio interview on “Bloomberg Surveillance” with Tom Keene. His previous estimate for 2011 growth was 2.1 percent.

Silvia cited improvement in Institute for Supply Management reports on services and manufacturing in October for his 2011 growth forecast.

“I think we’re going to have a very good holiday season and I think the spring will look good,” Silvia said about consumer spending.

The jobless rate will be slow to decline, and may stay close to 9 percent during the next two years, he said. Unemployment has been at 9.6 percent for three straight months.

“A significant part of the unemployment rate is more structural,” he said. “We have a lot of construction workers who are just in the wrong spot and they can’t become IT engineers tomorrow.”

Companies are starting to retain more workers. A Labor Department report today showed initial jobless claims fell 435,000 last week, the lowest level in four months.

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To contact the reporters on this story: Vincent Del Giudice in Washington vdelgiudice@bloomberg.net; Thomas R. Keene in New York tkeene@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Wellisz at cwellisz@bloomberg.net

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