North Carolina’s economy is growing but at a slower pace than in 2004.

The state’s economic output should grow some 2.5 percent this year, according to the latest economic forecast from John Connaughton, an economist at UNC Charlotte. That’s down from the 3.1 percent growth rate in 2004.

The TIAA-CREF/UNC Charlotte Economic Forecast expected a growth rate of only 1.4 percent in the first quarter, 1.3 in the second, 1.9 in the third and the overall increase for the year to reach 2.5 percent based on projected fourth-quarter growth.

Rising interest rates, energy prices and a growing national debt are impacing state and national growth, the survey said.

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