U.S. economy was likely to continue its current slow recovery pace and expand by 2.3 percent next year, the Peterson Institute for International Economics ( PIIE), a renowned Washington-based think tank, predicted Thursday. Speaking at the semi-annual \"Global Economic Prospects\" luncheon meeting held Thursday, David Stockton, a senior fellow at the PIIE, forecast that the United States could register a real gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 1.6 percent this year, before picking up steam to 2.3 percent in 2013 and 2.8 percent in 2014. U.S. lawmakers will likely find the common ground and avoid the imminent \"fiscal cliff\", said Stockton, warning that going over the cliff could have adverse effects on U.S. economic growth rate and the labor market. Unless U.S. Congress acts by the end of this year, a combination of tax hikes and sweeping spending cuts, dubbed as the \"fiscal cliff\" and with the combined amount of about 600 billion U. S. dollars, was set to kick in. The lingering anemic economic growth will cause long-term damage to the U.S. economy and to the nation\'s jobseekers, added Stockton, the former chief economist at U.S. Federal Reserve. U.S. economy grew at 2 percent in the third quarter this year, figures from U.S. Commerce Department showed.