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Tuesday, 20 May 2008

US entered recession in Q1: Merrill

NEW YORK - THE United States economy is currently in a recession that began last quarter, Merrill Lynch said.

The call comes despite the fact that gross domestic product grew 0.6 per cent in the January-March period, a meagre but still-positive rate.

GDP readings are subject to sharp revisions and, due to their quarterly nature, tend to lag other indicators like spending and confidence, according to Mr David Rosenberg, the bank's chief economist for North America.

'Last week's data flow confirmed that a recession began in the first quarter of this year,' Mr Rosenberg said in a research note on Monday.

'How can there be a recession with real GDP growth still positive? Well, this happened in the first quarter of 1980, the third quarter of 1990 and initially, the first quarter of 2001. And, all were the onset of official recessions,' Mr Rosenberg said. -- REUTERS

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