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Economists unanimously reported the U.S. has either entered a recession or soon will, according to the Survey of Professional Forecasters released today by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. The consensus was that the recession began in April 2008 and will last 14 months.
Economists projected real gross domestic product would decline 2.9% in the fourth quarter, and be down 1.1% in the first quarter of 2009.
Positive growth in the GDP will begin in the second quarter of 2009 at 0.8%. GDP growth will increase to 0.9% in the third quarter and 2.3% in the fourth quarter of next year.
Economists also said the unemployment rate would rise to 7.7% in the fourth quarter of 2009.
They also expect the U.S. to lose 222,400 jobs a month in this quarter and 218,800 in the first quarter of 2009. The U.S. will start adding jobs again in the fourth quarter of 2009.