Economists say Fed is on 'the right track,' according to survey

A majority of economists believe the Fed is doing right things to help repair the U.S. economy, survey finds

Most economists believe the Federal Reserve is doing the right things to help repair the U.S. economy, according to a survey released Monday by the National Assn. of Business Economists.

The survey also showed that a vast majority of economists believe the U.S. economy is at little risk of inflation in the coming years.

In the association's semiannual survey, 53% of economists said the Fed's stimulus programs were "on the right track" for the U.S. economy, and 39% thought the Fed was doing too much.

The Federal Reserve has been winding down a bond-buying economic stimulus program since December. Many investors and economists expect the central bank to start raising interest rates in 2015. It would be the first time the Fed raised interest rates since 2008. In the survey, three-quarters of the economists said they believed the Fed's first interest rate increase would come in 2015.

More economists approve of Congress' and the White House's handling of the U.S. economy as well, according to the survey. Forty-two percent of NABE economists believe U.S. fiscal policy is "about right," while 34% believe U.S. fiscal policy is "too restrictive." A year ago, 31% of NABE economists believed U.S. fiscal policy was "about right."

Asked what would be the best long-term way to tackle the U.S.' growing national debt, 34% of NABE economists surveyed said they believed policymakers should use a combination of budget cuts and tax increases to balance the budget. Only 7% of economists said the U.S. should raise taxes to deal with the budget deficit, and 25% said the U.S. should only use budget cuts to deal with the deficit.

NABE interviewed 257 economists between July 22 and Aug. 4.

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