How Long Will It Last?

A TIME panel forecasts a moderate recession for the next six months but warns that a banking crisis or Middle East conflagration could trigger a deeper slump

Hardly anyone bothers to deny it. After a record eight years of peacetime economic expansion, the most widely predicted recession in recent U.S. history is finally at hand. No longer confined to the beaten-down Northeast, the slump has brought hard times for many Americans, ranging from Boston bankers to Atlanta autoworkers to California aerospace engineers. The big questions now: How far will the economy slide into misery, and how long will the slump last?

The tidings will probably be grim at least until the middle of next year, according to the consensus of a panel of five leading economists who gathered...

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