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Obama economists: Rosier picture if Congress would enact spending the president wants

Published: Monday, March 10 2014 11:59 a.m. MDT

In this Feb. 25, 2014 file photo, President Barack Obama speaks about manufacturing innovation institutes, in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (Jacquelyn Martin, Associated Press) In this Feb. 25, 2014 file photo, President Barack Obama speaks about manufacturing innovation institutes, in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (Jacquelyn Martin, Associated Press)

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama's top economists say the nation is on track to make economic progress over the next two years, but add it would do even better if Congress would enact the additional spending he proposed in his most recent budget. A divided Congress in an election year is not likely to heed that call.

In their annual report to the president, the Council of Economic Advisers says the nation's economy would grow by 3.3 percent in 2014 and 3.5 percent in 2015. It adds that unemployment would drop to 6.4 percent in 2015 and 6 percent in 2016. February's unemployment rate was 6.7 percent.

That forecast assumes that Congress would approve $56 billion in spending that is above the limits set in a bipartisan budget agreement earlier this year.

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