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Economists think an economic downturn through early 2019 is now less likely, MarketWatch staffer Greg Robb reports.

Professional forecasters surveyed by the Philadelphia Fed see less of a chance of a contraction in real gross domestic product in any of the next four quarters. For the current quarter, the forecasters predict only a 5.3% chance of a contraction, down from 9.1% in the survey three months ago.

In fact, Macroeconomic Advisers, which tracks quarterly growth, now sees second quarter GDP growth accelerating to a 3% annual rate after a 2.3% growth rate in the first three months of the year.

According to the survey of professional forecasters, the odds of a contraction in the third quarter were cut to 8.6% from 11.4%, to 11.1% in the fourth quarter from 13.6% and to 14.4% from 16.8% in the first three months of next year.

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