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White House forecast: no roaring economic recovery in 2010

President Obama's annual economic forecast predicts job growth of 95,000 jobs a month in 2010, but said any growth may not be reflected in lower unemployment rates.

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The White House predicted modest growth in its annual economic forecast, warning that a revival of job growth may not bring a big decline in unemployment.

Christina Romer, President Obama's chief economist, forecast average job growth of 95,000 jobs per month. That target is in line with many private forecasts, though the government's monthly job tally has yet to shift from negative to positive.

The report follows a year when Ms. Romer and the Council of Economic Advisers, which she heads, had proved too rosy in their forecasting. Unemployment shot up to 10 percent in 2009, well above White House predictions.

The current Economic Report of the President may err on the side of caution. Often after a deep recession the economy is able to generate a stronger rebound than the 3 percent growth rate the report calls for in 2010. Last month, the unemployment rate dipped to 9.7 percent, from 10 percent. And some private forecasters believe that job growth could soon begin, reaching a pace of 200,000 to 300,000 jobs per month.

Romer and her team acknowledge the uncertainty surrounding any forecast, noting that the recovery could also prove more disappointing than they predict.

"Relatively little decline is projected in the unemployment rate during 2010," the report says. "Indeed, it is possible that the rate will rise for a while as some discouraged workers return to the labor force, before starting to generally decline."

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