The shock of U.S. spending cuts that hit in the second quarter is likely to fade, setting the stage for a stronger economy in the latter half of the year, according to economists in a survey. Annual growth is projected to reach 2.2% for the third quarter and continue to improve. "The consensus is the U.S. is getting better, healthier, and once the fiscal drag wanes, private-sector strength will show through," said Michael Gapen, senior U.S. economist at Barclays Capital.

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