Dollar Doomsayers

"It's hard to stimulate an economy when the currency is going down the tubes,'' said David Malpass, the chief economist at Bear Stearns & Co. The New York-based firm expects the dollar will fall to $1.60 per euro in 12 months.

The U.S. economy may expand 1.4 percent this year, according to the median estimate of 82 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News this month. The median in March was for growth of 1.7 percent. As recently as September the Fed's target rate was 5.25 percent.

[... Yeah, right]

Relief may be in sight. The International Monetary Fund in Washington said last month that oil prices may be peaking as growth slows. The median forecast of 34 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg is for the dollar to gain about 11 percent against the euro this year and 4 percent versus the yen as the Fed's rate cuts spark the economy in the second half of 2008.

"If the U.S. dollar turns higher or if the crude oil market reverses then we have a spiral working the other way,'' said Tim Evans, an energy analyst at Citigroup Global Markets Inc. in New York. The price of crude oil will [be] at $70 by September, Evans said.

Source: Bloomberg

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