US economy nears recession

MADRID - IT APPEARS increasingly likely that the US economy will enter into a recession, European Union Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said on Thursday.

The risk of a recession in the world's largest economy exists and should 'become our central scenario', the former Spanish employment minister said at an economic conference in Madrid.

The International Monetary Fund predicted in its latest World Economic Outlook on Wednesday that economic growth in the US will screech to a virtual halt in 2009, increasing by just 0.1 per cent.

That would be its worst showing since 1991, when the country was pulling out of a recession.

The IMF said the country was 'at the centre of the financial storm' and its economy was 'slowing down rapidly'.

Many economists believe the US economy will probably contract in the final three months of this year and the first three months of next year, meeting a classic definition of a recession. -- AFP


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