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P.M. BRIEFING : 4 Out of 5 Economists Predict No Recession Through 1991

From Times Wire Services

Four out of five economists predict there will not be a recession through 1991, which would set a postwar record for an economic expansion, a survey revealed today.

But the poll of 68 professional forecasters, conducted by the National Assn. of Business Economists, warned of slowing growth and a worsening federal budget deficit.

The economists forecast that, despite a surge in food and energy costs after the December cold snap, inflation will finish the year at 4.7% and fall to 4.3% in 1991.

“Four out of five forecasters (82%) predict that there will be no recession through 1991,” the group said. “That would be a postwar record for a business expansion (109 months), exceeding the previous longest cyclical upturn of 106 months” from 1961 to 1969.

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The current expansion started in November, 1982, in the wake of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

Interest rates are expected to remain at current levels through the end of the year and decline slightly in 1991, while unemployment should hover in the 5.4% range during both years, the economists predicted.


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