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Economists’ U.S. Outlook Dims

Economists in the latest Wall Street Journal forecasting survey still mostly project growth in U.S. gross domestic product by the third quarter, but they largely agree that a 2009 “second-half recovery” — a widely shared scenario until now — is looking much less likely.

Recent data showing just how sharply growth in the U.S. and elsewhere has declined in the final months of 2008 have cast a deepening shadow over 2009.

As recently as September, economists on average thought the U.S. would see annualized GDP growth of 1.2% in the first three months of this year; now, they see a 4.6% decline. Forecasts for the April-through-June period have seen a similar shift, from a 1.9% growth forecast to now a 1.5% decline, based on the 52 economists who participated in the Journal’s February survey.

complete article @ Wall Street Journal

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