Survey: Economists Foresee Continued Economic Growth
The National Association of Business Economists said its latest survey of member sentiment found growing optimism that the country will be able to avoid a recession through 1988, a view that is certain to cheer Republicans hoping to hold onto the White House.
But the next president, whatever party he represents, is likely to have to deal with a downturn soon after taking office, these economists believe.
A solid majority, 56 percent, picked 1989 as the most likely year for the next recession to begin.
The economists, who advise some of the country's largest corporations, cited rising inflation and higher interest rates as likely causes of the next recession.
``While economists continue to push back the expected date of the next recession, they still believe that a downturn will occur before the end of 1990,'' said Jerry Jordan, president of the association and chief economist of First Interstate Bancorp of Los Angeles.
The current recovery from the 1981-82 recession entered its 59th month in October, making this recovery the longest peacetime expansion on record.
For this year and 1988, economists remain optimistic about economic prospects, although they have been steadily raising their forecasts for inflation.
They now are predicting consumer prices will rise by 4.5 percent this year, up substantially from the 1.3 percent inflation performance of 1986. A year ago, the economists had predicted inflation would increase 3.7 percent this year.
By contrast, their views on economic performance have changed little over the past 12 months. The economists are predicting the overall economy, as measured by the gross national product, will expand 3 percent this year, compared with a 2.9 percent growth they forecast a year ago.
The economic prediction is close to the administration's forecast of 3. …