A new survey of economists indicates growing pessimism.

John Wohlfeil,ThinkStock

Most of the 48 economists surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics, 79 percent, have lowered their outlooks for economic growth in 2016, and now expect that the U.S. will grow 2.2 percent, down from a December prediction of 2.6 percent.

And the same group estimates business profits will rise 2 percent, down from the 5 percent forecast in December.

While lower gas prices are giving U.S. households some more cash, Americans have been cautious.

The economists say that Americans will keep saving the largest part of the gasoline windfall in 2016, or using it to pay down debt.

Sixty-seven percent of the economists surveyed expect that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates two times this year.

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