NEW YORK, March 8 (Reuters) - Bill Gross, founder and co-chief investment officer of bond giant PIMCO, said on Friday he raised his estimate of U.S. economic growth for this year to 3 percent.
Gross, whose PIMCO Total Return Fund is the world's largest bond fund, upped the estimate from his firm's December forecast of between 1.25 percent and 1.75 percent.
Gross, in an interview with Bloomberg Television, said the U.S. economy is "moving toward a 3 percent real GDP growth rate" in 2013.
When PIMCO made its lower forecast in December, the firm said uncertainty over U.S. tax and government spending policies would hinder positive economic data.
Pacific Investment Management Co., a unit of European financial services company Allianz SE, oversaw $2 trillion in assets as of Dec. 31, 2012. The firm is based in Newport Beach, California.
Gross's higher growth forecast came as U.S. Labor Department data showed that U.S. employers added a greater-than-expected 236,000 workers to their payrolls in February while the jobless rate fell to a four-year low of 7.7 percent.
Gross' flagship PIMCO Total Return Fund has over $285.6 billion in assets. The fund has earned a 0.14 percent return so far this year, according to the firm's website.
The benchmark S&P 500, meanwhile, is up 8.3 percent so far this year.