Aftcasting Recession . . .

Economists are now admitting that we are in a recession in the US, according to National Association for Business Economics (NABE). 96% of their survey respondents said the U.S. is in recession today.

Hey guys — thanks for the news flash! With the S&P down 47%, telling us that the US is in a recession is about as helpful as telling the survivors of the Titanic to take vitamin C for a cold.

Especially when considering that most of the professional economists, as recently as the late summer, were arguing that the US was going to avoid a recession. Many had claimed the US was in for a soft landing.

Here are some of the backward looking aftcasts* of the NABE panel:

-Consumer spending accounted for most of the downward revisions to the overall economic outlook, reflecting a worse outlook for household wealth and income.
-96% of the NABE panelists believe that a recession has begun.
-Half of the panel estimates that the recession started in the fourth quarter of 2007 or in the first quarter of 2008
-Just over 60% of the NABE respondents expect that the depth of the recession should be relatively contained, with a peak-to-trough decline in real GDP of less than 1.5%, with the balance expecting a harsher contraction.
-The jobless rate is expected to rise to 7.5% by year-end, 2009
-Lower inflation is predicted to coincide with increased economic slack.

* Aftcast: A forecast of what has already occurred, often weeks or months ago . . .


NABE Panel Sees Prolonged Recession
NABE November 2008

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