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NJIT professor: More economic growth, less unemployment in 2014

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Speaking at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago's annual economic outlook symposium last week, New Jersey Institute of Technology business professor William Rapp offered what appears to be a favorable forecast.

More real economic growth and less unemployment, he says.

In 2014, Rapp predicts growth will rise to 3.1 percent in addition to unemployment falling to 6.9 percent by December. Though his numbers aren't far off from his 2013 projections, they still represent a positive outlook.

"My predictions last year were 3 percent real growth, 2 percent inflation and 7.3 percent unemployment, considered optimistic at the time, but turned out to be close to the mark though on the low side," Rapp said in a release.

Rapp points to energy and continued low interest rates being behind his growth projections but also highlights advances in technology, low inflation and the return of manufacturing to the United States.

With news released earlier this month that the national unemployment rate had hit 7 percent in November, ts lowest mark in five years, Rapp says he's even thinking about adjusting his unemployment forecast to 6.7 percent by this time next year.

Rapp says he doubts the continued rollout of the Affordable Care Act will have any large effect on the economy and particularly on small businesses.

"This is mostly a software issue and now that they are applying high grade talent I expect things will sort themselves out more quickly than expected," Rapp said in an email.

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