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UPDATE 1-Goldman Sachs boosts U.S. GDP estimate, sees COVID relief at $1.5 trillion

(Adds remarks on rate hike)

Feb 8 (Reuters) - Economists at Goldman Sachs Group Inc on Monday bumped their U.S. GDP forecast for the second quarter up to 11% from 10% and said additional fiscal measures are likely to be valued at $1.5 trillion, up from their previous $1.1 trillion estimate.

On an annual basis, they raised their forecasts for 2021 and 2022 growth by 0.2 percentage points each, to 6.8% and 4.5%, respectively.

The bank’s economists also said that they had brought forward their forecast for the first rate hike by the Federal Reserve from the second half of 2024 to the first half in light of the upgrade to the growth forecast, the larger-than-expected decline in the unemployment rate in January, and signs of a “firmer” inflation outlook.

“We expect the FOMC to start tapering its asset purchases in early 2022,” the note said.

Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru Editing by Sonya Hepinstall

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