About 96% forecasters believed that the US was already in recession
Reuter News Service
The U.S. economy is in recession and will contract at a faster pace in the fourth quarter, extending the decline into early 2009 as high unemployment crimps consumer spending, a survey showed.
The National Association of Business Economists' poll of 50 professional forecasters released on Monday found that real gross domestic product was expected to fall 2.6 per cent in the fourth quarter and slump 1.3 per cent in the first three months of 2009.
See: US unemployment hits four-year high
Preliminary government estimates showed GDP contracted 0.3 per cent in the third quarter. The results of the survey, which was conducted between Oct. 28 and Nov. 7 indicated growing pessimism among forecasters.
"Business economists became decidedly more negative on the economic outlook for the next several quarters as a result of the intensification of credit market stresses and evidence of spillover to the real economy," said NABE President Chris Varvares.
See: US unemployment rate at 14-year high
More than a third reckoned the recession began in the third quarter of 2008, and nearly three-quarters believed it could persist beyond the first quarter of 2009. Over 60 per cent expected the depth of the recession to be contained, with the decline in GDP bottoming below 1.5 percent.
Overall GDP growth in 2008 was expected to come in at around 0.2 per cent and top 0.7 per cent next year, according to the survey. This compares with predictions of 1.2 per cent and 2.2 per cent respectively in October's survey.
See Complete Article: US in recession, jobless to peak at 7.5 pct: survey