WASHINGTON -- The U.S. economy is moving ahead sluggishly and probably will avoid a double-dip recession, according to a survey released yesterday by a group of business economists.

The survey of the National Association of Business Economists estimated that real U.S. gross national product will rise at an annual rate of about 2% in the current quarter, slightly weaker than the 2.4% gain the third quarter estimated last month by the Commerce Department.

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