February 8, 2020 / 2:55 AM / 6 months ago

UPDATE 1-Treasury's Mnuchin sees U.S. GDP growth less than 3% in 2020

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WASHINGTON, Feb 7 (Reuters) - Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Friday he expects 2020 U.S. gross domestic product growth to be less than 3%, partly due to problems at Boeing Co, which halted production of its 737 MAX planes over safety issues.

"I think our projections have been reduced because of Boeing and in other impacts, so it will be lower. I think we would have hit 3% but again, Boeing has had a big impact on our exports being the largest exporter," Mnuchin said in an interview on Fox Business Network.

"I think that could be 50 basis points," if not more, he said.

"There is no question that the virus will have some impact on global growth and some impact on the U.S.," Mnuchin said, referring to the coronavirus outbreak originating in China.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Friday that President Donald Trump's administration does not expect the coronavirus will have a major effect on the U.S. economy.

Boeing, struggling to restore public confidence, has halted production of the once fast-selling 737 MAX, which was grounded in March following two deadly crashes.

The U.S. economy grew 2.3% in 2019, missing the Trump administration's 3% growth target for a second straight year and posting its slowest annual growth in three years. (Reporting by Eric Beech and Mohammad Zargham; editing by Grant McCool and Daniel Wallis)

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