An panel of US economists leaned closer to predicting recession today after grappling with a slew of scary data, the AP reports. More than half of analysts at the National Association for Business Economics maintained that a downturn is still unlikely, but 45% expected recession in 2008; only a quarter saw a 35% chance of recession in a report last September.
All agreed that the economy will contract through June, with GDP growing at a paltry 1.8%. The group also predicted a second-half rebound due to Washington's $168 billion economic stimulus package and Fed rate cuts. Other NABE forecasts include:
- The Fed will cut its federal funds rate rate to 2.5%.
- The Consumer Price Index will climb by 2.5%.
- Oil will drop to $84 by year's end.
- Unemployment will rise from 4.6% last year to 5.2%.
Click on the links below to read more about NABE's predictions.