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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

Survey: Most Economists See Recession Ending This Year

A survey of economists released this morning shows that 74 percent believe that the recession, which began in December 2007, will end in the third quarter of this year.

Another 19 percent predicted the recession will end in the last quarter of this year and the remaining 7 percent believe it will linger until 2010, according to the National Association for Business Economics.

The recession will end when U.S. GDP returns to positive territory. It dropped 6.1 percent in the first quarter of this year and another 1.8 percent in the second quarter. The economists predict it will turn positive, barely, edging up 1.2 percent in the second half of this year.

Because unemployment is a lagging indicator, the economists say that joblessness will continue to rise even as the economy recovers. The consensus has unemployment averaging 9.1 percent this year, up from its 5.8 percent average of last year. (It currently stands at 8.9 percent.)

“While the overall tone remains soft, there are emerging signs that the economy is stabilizing,” Chris Varvares, the group's president, said in a statement. “The survey found that business economists look for the recession to end soon, but that the economic recovery is likely to be considerably more moderate than those typically experienced following steep declines.

"Moreover, despite encouraging signs seen in the last several weeks, the NABE panel downgraded the economic outlook for the next several quarters, compared with the previous survey,” Varvares said.

The group surveyed 45 economists in late April and early May.

-- Frank Ahrens
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By Frank Ahrens  |  May 27, 2009; 11:33 AM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: National Association for Business Economics, recession  
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