The U.S. economy will remain weak in 2011 as companies limit hiring and consumers restrict spending, according to a survey of economists.

GDP will grow by 2.6% in 2011 after increasing by 2.7% this year, according to the median forecast of 51 economist surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics.

"Growth is expected to be moderate," Richard Wobbekind, president of the group and associate dean of the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado-Boulder, said in a statement. "Panelists remain concerned about high levels of federal debt, a continuing high level of unemployment, increased business regulation and rising commodity prices."

The U.S. economy will less than 150,000 jobs a month in the first half of 2011, and no more than 170,000 jobs a month in the second half, the economists predicted.

The economists forecast "weak" gains in retail sales for this year's holiday season, with sales rising by about 2.5% from last year.

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