U.S. recession seen ending in third quarter

By Lucia Mutikani, Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The worst U.S. recession since the Great Depression will probably end in the third quarter, but uncertainty exists over the speed and duration of the economic recovery, according to the most recent survey of private economists.

The Blue Chip Economic Indicators survey of private economists released on Monday showed about 90 percent of the respondents surveyed believe the economic downturn will be declared to have ended this quarter.

This upbeat assessment followed recent government data showing gross domestic product (GDP) contracted at a shallow 1.0 percent rate in the second quarter after sinking 6.4 percent in the January-March quarter.

Recent data, including housing and key labor market indicators, have suggested a bottoming in the recession and the economy close to turning the corner. The economy slipped into recession in December 2007.

The Blue Chip survey’s findings are broadly in line with a Reuters poll published last month, which predicted growth in the third quarter, though a brisk pace of expansion was not expected until late 2010.

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