Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

U.S. Can Avoid Slide Back into Recession, Say Analysts

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

U.S. Can Avoid Slide Back into Recession, Say Analysts

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Most private analysts believe the nation can avoid a new recession in the next year despite lingering weakness in the economy, according to a survey released Monday.

"When asked if they thought there was a better than 50-50 chance of slipping back into recession, 89 percent gave a resounding `no,' " the National Association of Business Economists said in a summary.

Seventy-nine percent of the 56 business forecasters surveyed said the recession ended in the April-June quarter, up from 60 percent in a May survey. Nine percent believe it continued into the quarter that will end Sept. 30.

The survey, prepared for the association's annual meeting in Los Angeles, was taken in late August _ about the time the Federal Reserve was making its latest nationwide survey of economic conditions.

The Fed found the recovery to be uneven, both geographically and by economic sector. It said there was "little sign of a sizable rebound in consumer spending," which represents two-thirds of the nation's economic activity and is needed to keep the economy growing.

The forecasters were unanimous in their belief that the recovery would be "abnormally slow," with the median projection suggesting economic growth at an annual rate of just 2.5 percent in this quarter, 2.8 percent in the fourth quarter and 2.6 percent during 1992.

The median means that half the economists believe the economy will grow faster and half slower.

The Bush administration projects economic growth over the next four quarters at a 2.5 percent to 3 percent rate, well below the average 6 percent growth in the 12 months following other post-World War II recessions.

Administration Budget Director Richard G. Darman said in a television interview Sunday that statistics on industrial production, housing starts and other economic indicators suggest the economy may have turned up in

But, he conceded, "It's not coming up as strongly as we would want."

Darman acknowledged that White House economic forecasts usually look on the bright side. …

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