US growth to pick up to 3.2% in 2014: Obama budget

WASHINGTON (AFP) - President Barack Obama's fiscal 2014 budget released on Wednesday sees US economic growth picking up to 3.2 per cent next year from 2.3 per cent this year.

The US$3.77 trillion (S$4.67 trillion) proposed budget also assumes that unemployment will average 7.2 per cent next year, down from the current 7.6 per cent.

The budget for the fiscal year beginning October 1 foresees the US deficit falling to US$744 billion, compared to a projected shortfall of US$973 billion in the current year.

That would bring the country's deficit down to 4.4 per cent of gross domestic product from 6.0 per cent this year.

Government spending was projected to rise just 2.5 per cent in 2014 - slightly more than the projected inflation rate of 2.2 per cent - as pressure remains on the White House to curtail spending.

Nevertheless, Republicans in Congress are expected to reject the proposal and push for more cuts in disbursements.

"We don't view this budget as a starting point. This is an offer where the president came more than half way towards the Republicans in an attempt to get a fiscal deal," said a senior White House official.