US recession over, say experts

THE US recession has come to an end, leading American economists predicted yesterday, though they said the pace of the economic recovery would be muted due to low levels of household spending and a weak job market.<br /><br />The survey of 44 professional forecasters released by the National Association of Business Economists (NABE) found that 80 per cent of the respondents believed the economy was growing again after four straight quarters of decline, marking the longest and deepest US recession since the 1930s.<br /><br />&ldquo;The great recession is over,&rdquo; said NABE president-elect Lynn Reaser. &ldquo;The vast majority of business economists believe that the recession has ended, but that the economic recovery is likely to be more moderate than those typically experienced following steep declines.&rdquo;<br /><br />The survey predicted that real GDP growth will expand by 2.9 per cent over the second half of this year. Output for the whole of 2009 is expected to contract 2.5 per cent and rebound to 2.6 per cent next year.<br /><br />Much of the anticipated recovery was driven by firms rebuilding their inventories after aggressively reducing unwanted stocks of unsold goods to match weak demand, the economists said. They added that investment in the residential market would also add to growth, with the majority convinced the housing market downturn will shortly come to an end.<br />