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Recession News articles - updates

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Source: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/US-Un...89.html?x=0&sec=topStories&pos=6&asset=&ccode=

Jobless rate tops 10 percent in 15 states, DC

Jobless rate tops 10 percent in 15 states and DC, endangers economic recovery

  • By Jeannine Aversa, AP Economics Writer
  • On Friday July 17, 2009, 7:59 pm EDT
  • WASHINGTON (AP) -- Fifteen states have crossed a painful threshold: 10 percent unemployment. More states, and the nation, likely will follow, one of the biggest dangers to an economic recovery.
<!--- Insert the sidebar information -->
<!-- Article Related Media -->How consumers behave in the face of rising unemployment will figure prominently in shaping a broader rebound. If they go back into hibernation and sharply cut spending like they did at the end of last year, the recovery could cave in. More likely is that consumers will stay cautious, making for a fragile and slow-moving national economic turnaround, economists said.
The Labor Department on Friday said unemployment topped 10 percent in 15 states and the District of Columbia last month. And the jobless rate in Michigan surpassed 15 percent, the first time any state hit that mark since 1984.
The Federal Reserve this week projected that the national unemployment rate, currently at a 26-year high of 9.5 percent, will pass 10 percent by the end of the year. Most Fed policymakers said it could take "five or six years" for the economy and the labor market to get back on a path of long-term health.
"With so much uncertainty, companies will stay in cost-cutting mode and consumers will watch their spending," said Steve Cochrane, managing director at Moody's Economy.com.
The news was not all bad. North Dakota, helped by the oil business, reported the lowest unemployment rate of 4.2 percent in June. It was followed by Nebraska at 5 percent and South Dakota at 5.1 percent, supported by farm businesses. None of those states ever got carried away with the housing boom, either, so their residents didn't suffer as big a hit to household wealth.
Still, the state unemployment report underscored the damage that the longest recession since World War II has inflicted on companies, workers and communities, and the challenges the economy faces getting back on its feet.
A common theme running through states suffering from high unemployment was heavy layoffs tied to the troubled auto industry and the collapse of the housing market. Workers in manufacturing, construction, retail and finance have been the hardest hit.
"A lot of older industries are having to shut down and many of these jobs will never come back," said Bernard Baumohl, chief global economist at the Economic Outlook Group.
Take Michigan, ground zero of the recession.
Home to the nation's struggling auto makers, Michigan has been clobbered by lost factory jobs. Its jobless rate of 15.2 percent in June was the nation's highest. It was the first time in 25 years that any state has suffered an unemployment rate of at least 15 percent.
If laid-off workers who have given up looking for jobs or have settled for part-time work are included, the state's jobless rate was 22.5 percent, according to Michigan's Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Development. Nationwide unemployment by that measure was 16.5 percent in June, the highest on government records dating to 1994.
"In Michigan and elsewhere, the unemployment rate is just the tip of the iceberg of the extensive adverse impact of this 'Great Recession,'" said economist Lawrence Mishel, president of the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute.
Many workers have seen hours trimmed, their pay cut and have lost benefits. Combine that with a dismal housing market making it difficult for people to sell their homes and move to other places to find work, some jobseekers are trapped.
The other states where unemployment topped 10 percent last month were: Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Tennessee. In May, 13 states plus the District of Columbia watched their jobless rates surpass 10 percent. Alabama and Georgia joined the list in June.
Rhode Island had the second-highest unemployment rate in the country in June at 12.4 percent. When including people who stopped looking for work and those forced into part-time jobs, the state's unemployment rate was 22.7 percent, Mishel estimated.
Oregon had the third-highest unemployment rate at 12.2 percent, which was 21.6 percent by the broadest measure. South Carolina's jobless rate of 12.1 percent jumped to 22 percent when underemployed workers were included. It was followed by Nevada with a jobless rate of 12 percent, or 21.6 percent by the broadest measure, Mishel said.
The June jobless rates for Nevada, Rhode Island and South Carolina were the highest ever for those states in records dating to 1976. Other record-highs: Florida at 10.6 percent, Georgia at 10.1 percent and Delaware at 8.4 percent.
Associated Press Writer Tim Martin in Lansing, Mich., contributed to this report.
 

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Source: http://money.cnn.com/2009/05/27/news/economy/NABE_recovery_outlook/index.htm?postversion=2009052703

By Julianne Pepitone, CNNMoney.com contributing writer
May 27, 2009: 3:31 AM ET

Economists: Recession to end in 2009

A recovery in the second half of this year will be 'moderate,' according to a report from the National Association for Business Economics.

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<!--endclickprintexclude--><!-- CONTENT --><!-- REAP --><!--startclickprintexclude--><STYLE>.moreSummaryList {margin:10px 0px 0px 0px;background: url([media]http://i.cdn.turner.com/money/.element/img/2.0/buttons/circle_arrow.gif[/media]) no-repeat left;padding-left:15px;vertical-align:top;text-align:left;}</STYLE>ROAD TO RESCUE<!-- Poll ends -->


<!-- ADSPACE: business_news/jobs_and_economy/quigo/ctr.220x200 --><SCRIPT type=text/javascript> cnnad_createAd("835312","http://ads.cnn.com/html.ng/site=cnn_money&cnn_money_position=220x200_ctr&cnn_money_rollup=business_news&cnn_money_section=jobs_and_economy&cnn_money_subsection=quigo&params.styles=fs","200","220");</SCRIPT>NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The end of the recession is in sight, according to a new survey of leading economists.​


While the economy is showing signs of stabilizing, the recovery will be more moderate than is typical following a severe downturn, said the National Association for Business Economics Outlook in a report released Wednesday.
The panel of 45 economists said it expects economic growth will rebound in the second half of 2009. However, the group still expects to see a decline in second-quarter economic activity.

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"The good news is that the NABE panel expects economic growth to turn positive in the second half of this year, with the pace of job losses narrowing sharply over the remainder of this year and employment turning up in early 2010," said NABE president Chris Varvares in a written statement.
Almost three out of four survey respondents expect the recession will end by the third quarter of 2009, the report said.
But 19% predicted that a turnaround won't come until the fourth quarter, and 7% said it may not come until early 2010. None of the panelists expected the recession to continue past the first quarter of next year.

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GDP: The report predicted a 1.8% decline in real GDP in the second quarter of 2009, bringing the total year-to-date decrease to 3.7%. That's the biggest drop since 1957-1958, the report said.
Still, "a modest second-half rebound in real GDP is expected," the report said, with economic growth turning positive in the third quarter. Real GDP growth over the second half of 2009 is expected to average 1.2%, which is well below average, the report said.
"Growth in 2010 is slated for a return to near its historical trend," the report said, predicting a 2.7% year-over-year increase. The NABE's February outlook had predicted a 3.1% uptick.

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Jobs: The panel forecast a total of 4.5 million jobs lost in 2009, pushing the unemployment rate to 9.8%. Modest gains in 2010 will reduce the rate to 9.3% by year's end, the report predicted.
Separate reports this month showed the unemployment rate is currently down in 21 states and stands at 8.9% nationally.
Deficit: Government spending "will provide vital support to the economy," and will be the only expenditure sector to grow in 2009, the report said.
But that spending will help push the federal deficit to a record-high $1.7 trillion in the 2009 fiscal year, before falling slightly to $1.4 trillion in fiscal 2010.
Housing: New and existing home sales are close to their lows, with 72% of NABE panelists expecting sales to hit bottom by the middle of 2009.More than 60% of those surveyed said housing starts would also bottom out at the same time.
The panelists were split on the issue of when home prices will hit their lows: 30% said it would happen by the third quarter of 2009; 30% said the fourth quarter; and 40% said declines will continue into 2010 or later. The median prediction is that home prices will rise 1% in 2010, the report said.

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Spending: Widespread job losses and weak income growth have reduced consumer spending and boosted the personal savings rate, the report said. The savings rate has seen two consecutive quarters of sharp increases, holding above 4% through March. More than 70% of the panelists expect "more thrifty behavior is here to stay, at least for the next five years," the report said.
Credit: Obtaining long-term and short-term financing is still difficult, which poses a risk to the economy,but 90% of respondents said actions from the Federal Reserve have helped to ease the credit crunch.
Five-year outlook: More than half of the NABE economists said they expected potential growth of the U.S. economy over the next five years to be between 2% and 2.5%; 37% of respondents forecast growth between 2.5% and 3%, while 7% of the panelists said growth will be higher than 3%.
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Source: http://www.brookings.edu/reports/2009/06_metro_monitor.aspx

MetroMonitor: Tracking Economic Recession and Recovery in America’s 100 Largest Metropolitan Areas


June 2009 —
Beneath the constant drumbeat of headline numbers emanating from Washington on U.S. jobs, national unemployment, GDP, and home prices lies a complex, diverse set of 366 metropolitan economies. While no metro area has been immune from the current economic downturn, the pain is unevenly distributed. Some have felt only modest effects, and a few show early signs of recovery, while others are undergoing a wrenching restructuring that may fundamentally alter their economic trajectory.



Beneath the constant drumbeat of headline numbers emanating from Washington on U.S. jobs, national unemployment, GDP, and home prices lies a complex, diverse set of 366 metropolitan economies. While no metro area has been immune from the current economic downturn, the pain is unevenly distributed. Some have felt only modest effects, and a few show early signs of recovery, while others are undergoing a wrenching restructuring that may fundamentally alter their economic trajectory.

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The Middle Class Is Missing (New York)

Alan Berube, New York Daily News, July 08, 2006

More Related Content »
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The MetroMonitor, an interactive barometer of the health of America’s metropolitan economies, looks "beneath the hood" of national economic statistics to portray the diverse metropolitan landscape of recession and recovery across the country. It aims to enhance understanding of the underpinnings of national economic trends, and to promote public- and private-sector responses to the downturn that take into account metro areas’ unique starting points, weaknesses, and strengths—the potential "grassroots green shoots"—for eventual recovery.

This edition of the Monitorexamines indicators through the first quarter of 2009 (ending in March) in the areas of employment, unemployment, wages, output, home prices, and foreclosure rates for the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas. It finds that:

  • The recession has had highly varied impacts on different metropolitan areas, even within the same broad regions of the country. In March 2009 the unemployment rate ranged from 5.1 percent in Provo to 17.5 percent in Modesto. From the beginning of 2008 through the beginning of 2009, home prices fell by 30.6 percent in Stockton but rose by 4.7 percent in Houston.
  • A few metropolitan areas are beginning to showing signs of economic recovery, although none has completely recovered. McAllen is the only metropolitan area that saw growth in both employment and output during the first quarter of 2009. Employment also rose in New Haven and Baton Rouge, while output also increased in Seattle, Austin, Virginia Beach, Washington, Richmond, San Jose, and Riverside. Still, none of these metro areas has yet returned to its pre-recession levels of employment or output.
  • There are two distinct "Manufacturing Belts." Economic pain is widespread in Midwestern metro areas that depend heavily on the auto industry and its supply chain. Most metro areas in Michigan and Ohio have experienced employment and output declines exceeding national averages. Several, including Dayton, Detroit, and Youngstown, began losing jobs two to three years earlier than the U.S. economy as a whole. At the same time, job losses have been more modest, and housing prices have risen slightly, in many Northeastern metro areas that have less auto-oriented manufacturing sectors (e.g., aerospace in Hartford, photonics in Rochester, plastics in Scranton).
  • There are also two distinct Sun Belts. Large swaths of the South and West, particularly metropolitan areas in Florida, Arizona, Nevada, and inland California, have suffered severe employment, output, and home value declines over the past year due to the broader housing fallout. Wages in those metro areas have risen rapidly, most likely due to a slowdown in less-skilled migration to those areas, and to disproportionate losses of lower-paying jobs. Yet parts of the Southwest and Deep South—including metro areas in New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana—have performed relatively well, experiencing less severe job losses, relatively large wage gains, and modest home price increases. Specializations in energy and government, large amounts of federal hurricane recovery funding for the Gulf Coast, and smaller increases in housing prices during the early and mid-2000s may all help to account for their better performance.
  • Concentrations of jobs in "eds and meds" and government seem to have shielded some metro areas from dramatic job losses. Compared to a national employment decline of 3.7 percent from the fourth quarter of 2007 through the first quarter of 2009, metro areas with specializations in education and health care saw employment drop by an average of only 2.0 percent, and those specialized in government/military employment saw average job losses of 1.3 percent. Specialization in these less volatile economic activities may help account for the relatively stable performance of educational centers like Boston, New Haven, and Provo; health care centers like McAllen, New Haven, and Springfield; and government/military centers like Honolulu, El Paso, and Washington, D.C.
  • Tourism-specialized metro areas suffered relatively large employment declines. Metro areas with job concentrations in arts, entertainment, and recreation, such as Orlando, Las Vegas, and Bradenton, experienced 4.0 percent employment declines on average—reflecting not only the sensitivity of tourism to the recession, but also that many of these same areas had severely overpriced housing and high proportions of their pre-recession employment in real estate and related industries such as construction.
  • A few banking centers have been hard hit, but metro areas specializing in insurance have suffered less. The New York and Charlotte metro areas, the nation’s two foremost banking centers, have suffered in different ways during the recession. Charlotte has suffered deep recent employment losses and its unemployment rate rose dramatically since early 2008, while New York has actually shed jobs at a lower rate than the national average but has experienced steeper declines in output and housing prices. Meanwhile, metro areas specialized in the less-affected insurance industry, such as Des Moines, Hartford, and Omaha, have experienced very modest job losses and have performed relatively well on most other economic indicators.
  • 38 of the top 100 metro areas avoided declines in home prices over the past year, even as prices nationwide dipped 6 percent. Most of these metro areas also experienced below-average employment declines, and lie in the less-affected parts of the "Manufacturing Belt" (Pennsylvania and upstate New York) and Sun Belt (Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana). They also exhibit below-average shares of properties in REO (real estate-owned) status due to bank foreclosure.
overall_small.jpg
View Larger
View all interactive maps on the MetroMonitor charts page »

This metropolitan perspective begins to highlight the important role of local economic structure and housing dynamics on performance during the recession. It suggests that recovery may be quite uneven as well, posing particular challenges for policymakers seeking to ensure a truly national rising economic tide.
 

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Weekly jobless claims drop below 500,000

<CITE class=vcard>By MARTIN CRUTSINGER, AP Economics Writer Martin Crutsinger, Ap Economics Writer </CITE>– <ABBR class=recenttimedate title=2009-11-25T05:48:04-0800>26 mins ago
</ABBR>
<!-- end .byline -->WASHINGTON – The number of newly laid-off workers filing claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week to the lowest level in over a year.

The concern is that the big improvement will be temporary as the weak economy continues to push unemployment higher.

The Labor Department said Wednesday that the number of people filing first-time claims for jobless benefits fell by 35,000 to 466,000. That was the lowest level for initial claims since the week of Sept. 13, 2008, and was far better than the 500,000 that economists had expected.

The number of workers receiving benefits also fell sharply, dropping 190,000, to 5.42 million, the lowest level for continuing claims since February.

Analysts cautioned against reading too much into the sharp drop in unemployment claims, noting that part of the improvement reflected large seasonal adjustment factors, which smooth out changes that normally occur at certain times of the year. Excluding seasonal adjustments, claims rose. That's normal at this time of year when a large number of construction workers face layoffs because of worsening weather conditions.

The unemployment rate hit a 26-year high of 10.2 percent in October and many economists believe the recovery will remain so sluggish that the jobless rate will keep rising, possibly topping 10.5 percent by the middle of next summer.

Federal Reserve policymakers worried at their November meeting that the unemployment rate could remain elevated for several years, according to minutes of the discussions released Tuesday.

New claims last week dropped below 500,000 for the first time since the first week in January. Weekly claims peaked at 674,000 in March and have generally been trending lower since then.

However, many economists believe that claims must drop to around 425,000 to signal actual growth in employment. Economists expect 145,000 payroll job cuts for November, a slight improvement from the net job loss of 190,000 last month.

Recent reports indicate employers are continuing to lay off workers. Struggling Internet company AOL last week said it plans to cut up to 2,500 jobs, more than a third of its work force, once it is spun off from the media conglomerate Time Warner Inc. And Hartford, Conn.-based health insurer Aetna Inc. said it will cut 625 jobs, or nearly 2 percent of its staff, and will make similar job cuts in the first quarter of 2010 due to the lagging economy and the potential impact of health care reform.
 

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AOL Layoffs

If you were looking to apply at AOL, please read the following article dated January 28, 2009


Exclusive: AOL to Lay Off 10 Percent of Staff, Cutting 700, Due to Ad Meltdown and a Refocusing on New Structure

by Kara Swisher
Posted on January 28, 2009 at 10:18 AM PT

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Time Warner online unit AOL is cutting 700 employees due to the weak economy and the ensuing falloff in advertising revenue, but also because of recent structural changes made to refocus the once-mighty service.
AOL CEO Randy Falco sent a memo this afternoon to AOL staff about the layoffs and other cost cuts being made, confirming the moves.
The 10 percent reduction in workforce will take place over the next several quarters, with most of the U.S. layoffs to be completed by March. AOL has 7,000 employees world-wide, mostly located domestically.
AOL is also eliminating merit raises, just as Yahoo (YHOO) and other digital companies have done recently, and consolidating facilities.
While Time Warner (TWX) has been trying to sell AOL to Yahoo, the online unit has also been shifting its resources, as part of a long-term turnaround plan. It has focused the company on three parts: its Platform-A ad unit; its communications and social-networking arm, People Networks; and its recently launched MediaGlow content studio.
It has also been in the midst of splitting out its longtime access business, which has provided the bulk of AOL’s revenues and profits, which sources said has given its top execs insight into what its future business model should be.
Besides the layoffs and cost cuts, sources said AOL was also looking at paring its international business, which has never been particularly successful.
As part of its ongoing moves to make New York its main HQ, AOL will also be consolidating facilities in Silicon Valley, Los Angeles and at its original homestead in Dulles, Va., although not closing it completely.
Much as throughout the online advertising industry, AOL has seen drastic declines in growth. In a recent financial report, AOL said its ad business dropped almost 20 percent year over year.
And AOL’s worth has also declined, with Google (GOOG) recently writing down its 2005 investment of $1 billion in the online service, which valued it then at $20 billion. It is now valued at $5.5 billion.
 
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So what exactly is a 'double-dip' recession?

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Signs of stalling economic rebound raise questions about definition of 'double-dip' recession


http://us.rd.yahoo.com/finance/news/apf/SIG=10kfmofol/*http://www.ap.org/termsandconditions <!--- Insert the sidebar information -->



Jeannine Aversa, AP Economics Writer, On Thursday July 1, 2010, 5:03 pm EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Concerns are rising that the economy is at risk of slipping into a "double-dip" recession.
High unemployment, Europe's debt crisis, a slowdown in China, a teetering housing market and sinking stock prices are all weighing on a fragile U.S. recovery.

So what exactly is a double-dip recession?
Robert Hall has an idea of what one looks like but no precise definition. He's chairman of the National Bureau of Economic Research, a group of academic economists that officially declares the starts and ends of recessions.

In Hall's view, a double dip is akin to a continuous recession that's punctuated by a period of growth, then followed by a further decline in the economy.

The NBER doesn't define a double dip any more specifically than that, says Hall, an economics professor at Stanford University.

In econo-speak, Hall explains: "The idea -- hypothetical because it has yet to happen -- is that activity might rise for a period, but not far enough to complete a cycle, then fall again, and finally rise above its original level, only then completing the cycle."

Hall says the closest the United States has come to a double dip was in 1980 and 1981. But the NBER concluded that those were two distinct, though closely spaced, recessions -- "not a double dip," he says.
Not so, says Sung Won Sohn, professor at California State University, Channel Islands. Sohn says the back-to-back recessions of the early '80s fit his definition of a double dip: A recession followed by a short period of growth followed by a recession.

Brian Bethune, economist at IHS Global Insight, has a view similar to Hall's: A period in which the economy shrinks, starts growing again and then shrinks again -- for at least six months.

"There is no mathematical formula; it's a judgment call," Bethune says.
The NBER has declared the economy fell into a recession in December 2007. It hasn't yet pinpointed an end to the recession. It said in April that it would be "premature" to do so.

Many other economists say the recession ended in June or July of last year. The economy returned to growth again in the third quarter of 2009, after four straight quarters of declines. More recently, the economy has added jobs in each of the first five months of this year.

Still, the threats to the recovery from overseas and at home are growing. So are the risks that the recovery will fade out. Economists say the odds of that remain low but have crept up since a couple of months ago. Analysts are downgrading their growth forecasts for the second half of this year.

In determining the starts and stops of recessions, the NBER reviews data that make up the nation's gross domestic product. The GDP measures the value of goods and services produced in the United States. The NBER also reviews incomes, employment and industrial activity.

The panel, based in Cambridge, Mass., tends to take its time in declaring when a recession has started or ended.

It announced in December 2008 that the recession had actually started one year earlier -- in December 2007.

And it declared in July 2003 that the 2001 recession was over. It had actually ended 20 months earlier -- in November 2001.

In President George W. Bush's eight years in office, the United States fell into two recessions. The first started in March 2001 and ended that November. The second started in December 2007; its end date is pending the NBER's determination.

The timing of the NBER's decision likely means little to ordinary Americans now muddling through a sluggish economic recovery and weak job market.

Many will continue to struggle. Unemployment usually keeps rising well after a recession ends. After the 2001 recession, for instance, unemployment didn't peak until June 2003 -- 19 months later.
 

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Recovery likely to remain sluggish into 2011

Unemployment will stay high and housing prices flat, AP survey shows








100412-recovery-hmed-9a.grid-6x2.jpg

Mark Ralston / AFP - Getty Images Unemployed Americans speak with James Berry (L) from Goodwill Industries at the Los Angeles Career Fair on March 23, 2010.

by Jeannine Aversa


— The pillars of Americans' financial security — jobs and home values — will stay shaky well into 2011, according to an Associated Press survey of leading economists.
The findings of the new AP Economy Survey, released Monday, point to an economic recovery that will move slowly and fitfully this year and next. As a result, the Federal Reserve will be forced to keep interest rates near zero until at least the final quarter of this year, three-fourths of the economists said.

The new AP survey, which will be conducted quarterly, compiles forecasts of leading private, corporate and academic economists on a range of indicators, including employment, home prices and inflation. Among the first survey's key findings:
  • The unemployment rate will stay stubbornly high the next two years. It will inch down to 9.3 percent by the end of this year and to 8.4 percent by the end of 2011. The rate has been 9.7 percent since January.
  • Home prices will remain almost flat for the next two years, even after plunging an average 30 percent nationally since their peak in 2006. The economists forecast no rise this year and a 2.3 percent gain next year.
  • The economy will grow 3 percent this year, which is less than usual during the early phase of a recovery and the reason unemployment will stay high. It takes growth of 5 percent for a year to lower the jobless rate by 1 percentage point, economists say.
The economy began growing again last summer, 18 months after the recession started in December 2007. To keep the recovery on track, the soonest the Federal Reserve will begin raising short-term interest rates is the fourth quarter, 34 of the 44 economists surveyed told the AP.
Those continued low rates will help stimulate home sales.

More foreclosures expected
Economists think sales of previously occupied homes, the biggest chunk of the market, will tick up to 5.4 million this year and to 5.9 million in 2011. That would mark continued improvement from the low of 4.9 million in 2008 and be in line with sales in a healthy economy.


But there's a catch. Sales are forecast to rise in part because of another anticipated wave of foreclosures. That will keep prices from rising — and consumers from spending freely.
Still, a glut of homes already for sale and another anticipated wave of foreclosures will keep prices from rising — and consumers from spending freely. Surging home equity spurred spending during the housing boom of the last decade.
"Our houses are no longer cash machines," says Allen Sinai, chief economist at Decision Economics, who took part in the AP survey.
By keeping interest rates at record lows, the Fed intends to encourage people and companies to spend more and invigorate the recovery. But anxiety over unemployment, and a reluctance or inability to borrow, will also restrain consumer spending, economists say.
"We're not going to see any irrational exuberance from consumers this year," says Joel Naroff, president of Naroff Economic Advisors, another survey participant.
Like many Americans, Michaela O'Brien of Northampton, Mass., is trying to cope with personal damage from the worst recession since the 1930s. O'Brien's husband, Nathaniel Reade, 51, lost his job two years ago as a magazine editor. Since then, they've seen the value of their home slip. So they're spending less.
Gone are the health club memberships, ski passes and camp for their two children. "We mostly cut back on what people would consider frivolous things," O'Brien says.
She gets around in a 2000 Toyota Corolla, her husband in a 13-year old Subaru.
"We hope we don't have to buy a car anytime soon," says O'Brien, 49, a self-employed publicist. Still, she says they are fortunate because they're able to pay their mortgage.
Scarred labor market
Economists say it may take until at least the middle of the decade for home values to return to full health. The biggest asset for many Americans, homes have appreciated an average 4 percent a year since World War II, economists say.
But national house prices have never remained flat while the economy was growing, says Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Analytics, which reviewed data going back to 1969. Adjusted for inflation, however, home prices were essentially flat throughout the 1980s and the first half of the 1990s, says Zandi, who also took part in the survey.
The recession wiped out 8.2 million jobs. Zandi and other economists had previously forecast that unemployment, which reached 10.1 percent in October, would peak at 11 percent this year. Zandi now expects joblessness to climb again and reach 10.2 percent by December. That's because people who have quit looking for work and aren't counted as unemployed will start looking again, and because job creation will remain weak.

Employers have begun to add jobs recently, including 162,000 in March. Economists foresee additional job creation over the next three months, but not enough to reduce the unemployment rate significantly. They predict job gains of roughly 200,000 in April, 250,000 in May and 125,000 in June.
About 125,000 new jobs are needed each month just to keep up with population growth and prevent the unemployment rate from rising. To reduce the jobless rate significantly, employers would need to consistently add 200,000 to 300,000 each month.
"The labor market is the scar left over from the economic trauma that we've been through," says Sean Snaith, economics professor at the University of Central Florida, who took part in the survey. "It will be slow to fade."
Forty-year-old Ann DeRoo of Fairfield, Ohio, began digging into savings to pay home and car loans after her husband was laid off from a trucking job earlier this year. DeRoo, who has three children, has also put off buying new clothes or shoes. Her son, who graduates from college in June, may have to move back home if he can't find a job.
"We just have to really watch what we're doing and worry about getting through today," DeRoo says.
 
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Visa profit decline less than expected

NEW YORK — Visa Inc. says it had a 2 percent decline in fiscal third-quarter profit, despite increased operating income.

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The San Francisco company posted net income of $716 million, or 97 cents per share, on revenue of $2.03 billion for the period ended June 30.
That tops Wall Street expectations for profit of 93 cents per share on revenue of $1.97 billion. But results were down from last year's third-quarter results, largely because of lower investment income.
 
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