Fed's Stern sees steady growth for near term

US - Gary Stern, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, sees the economy growing at a relatively firm rate in coming months before growth accelerates in the second half of 2003.

Speaking at the Wisconsin Economic Summit, sponsored by the University of Wisconsin, Stern said "the probability of a so-called double-dip recession is relatively small."

He said he expects full-year growth in gross domestic product of 3 percent for 2002, with growth accelerating by the second half of nex