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ECRI Sticks to Recession Call, Even Amid Positive Signs
CNBC.com | February 24, 2012 | 02:09 PM EST

With jobs numbers getting better, the European debt crisis seemingly on the back burner for now and a raft of other data points indicating improvement, it would be easy for Lakshman Achuthan to back off his controversial recession forecast from last year.

Not so, however — the economist from the Economic Cycle Research Institute proclaimed to CNBC that he remains convinced the U.S. is heading for a substantial downturn in the months ahead.

“Our call stands,” Achuthan said in an interview. “When you look at the hard data that is used to officially date business cycle recessions, it has been getting worse, not better, despite what the consensus view of an improving economy has been.”

When he predicted a recession in a Sept. 30, 2011, CNBC appearance, it didn’t seem like Achuthan was making a very bold call.

Rising unemployment , fears of European debt contagion and a slumping stock market had just about everybody talking recession , with the only real dispute being how bad things would get.

However, global central banks shortly thereafter took control, and the direction started to change.

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