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Greenspan: Recession Still ’50 Percent or More’ Likely

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Jeff Poor
Business & Media Institute
Wednesday, Sept 10, 2008

The economy isn’t out of the woods yet in spite of 3.3 percent gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the second quarter of 2008, according to former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan.

Greenspan appeared on CNBC’s September 9 “Closing Bell” and was asked by host Maria Bartiromo if he would stick with a prediction he made earlier this year that the United States would go into a recession.

“Well, I said 50 percent or more and I still stand by that statement,” Greenspan said. “I think the real interesting question at the moment, with all of this financial problem – why is the economy in the world still in positive territory?”

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Greenspan was referring to the fact the United States has had only one quarter of economic contraction – in the fourth quarter of 2007 – followed by two quarters of growth – something he didn’t expect.

“The United States is weakening, obviously, and it’s stagnant,” Greenspan said. “But we’re holding up and the developing world, while coming down from its dramatically rapid rates of increase, has slowed as well. And so, I think the real interesting question is why are we doing as well as we are?”

The economy has fared much better than many have expected, including the media. On August 28, the Commerce Department announced that GDP actually grew at 3.3 percent in the quarter, far exceeding economists’ expectations of 2.3 percent. Initial figures reported a 1.9-percent increase.

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This article was posted: Wednesday, September 10, 2008 at 3:32 am

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