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6 Dec, 2021 11:00

Omicron fears drag down US growth forecast

Omicron fears drag down US growth forecast

Goldman Sachs has downgraded its US economic growth forecast for 2022 from a previously expected 4.2% to 3.8%. The outlook was cut due to rising risks and uncertainty around the new Covid-19 variant, Omicron.

According to Goldman economist Joseph Briggs, who was cited by Reuters, the new coronavirus strain could slow the US’ economic reopening, but is expected to have “only a modest drag” on service spending.

“While many questions remain unanswered, we now think a moderate downside scenario where the virus spreads more quickly but immunity against severe disease is only slightly weakened is most likely,” Briggs said in a note on Saturday. He added that labor shortages could last longer if people do not feel comfortable returning to work due to Omicron.

READ MORE: US on the brink of default, think tank predicts

The spread of the virus could worsen supply shortages if other countries implement tighter restrictions, according to Goldman. However, the increase in vaccination rates among foreign trade partners could prevent severe disruptions, the report said.

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