Boca Raton, Fla. (Feb. 21, 2003) -- Chief executives at top U.S. companies expect the economy to grow at a sluggish pace in 2003, hampered by worries about war with Iraq and terrorism, according to a survey by the Washington-based Business Council.

According to media reports on the results of the group’s survey of 180 chief executives, 40 percent said that worries about an Iraqi war or terrorism had caused a delay or change in business plans for 2003. Executives were cautious about capital spending, which is widely seen as vital to getting the U.S. economy on a solid footing.

Executives on the whole expected mild inflation throughout 2003, interest rates at or slightly above their current 40-year lows and a continued slide in the value of the dollar, with only a small number predicting either recession or a big surge in economic growth.

Members of the group, meeting in Florida this week, overwhelmingly backed the tax-cut proposals by President Bush, saying an acceleration in tax-rate cuts set for coming years would be the most beneficial. The executives also applauded the president's proposed elimination of most taxes on stock dividends for investors.

-- Electronic Accountant Newswire Staff

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