Second-Half Rebound? Don't Bank On It

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 12, 2009 8:05 PM CST
Flags on the facade of the New York Stock Exchange are a backdrop for a Wall Street street sign.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew, file)
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(Newser) – Economists say the prospects of a recovery in the second half of the year are looking less and less likely, the Wall Street Journal reports. Most economists surveyed predict the nation's GDP will grow in the third quarter by a measly 0.7%, less than half the rate predicted 6 months ago. The fourth quarter is expected to tick up, but not by much, to 1.9%, down from a November forecast of 2.1%.

"We're in trouble," said one economist, who thinks his colleagues are actually being too optimistic. "We don't have sufficient economic plans at present to resolve the banking system or the financial crisis, and the stimulus package seems loaded for 2010." The forecasts for the first half of the year are worse: a GDP decline of 4.6% in the first three months, followed by a decline of 1.5% in the second. Last fall, both forecasts called for GDP growth.