I keep looking for allies to join my antirecession stance. (BTW, the Intrade betting market puts the odds of recession at just 28 percent.) I think I just found another one in Anatole Kaletsky, the economics columnist for the Times of London:
But is America really in recession? Experts seem to think so, including Alan Greenspan, Warren Buffett, George Soros and Martin Feldstein, the chairman of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), the academic committee in Boston that determines business cycle dates. But where is the evidence for this belief? ... Looking at the statistics used by the NBER, there is little or none—at least so far. GDP has continued to grow, albeit slowly, in the past two quarters and almost certainly will accelerate in the current quarter because of booming exports; industrial production has been positive, as have real income and whole-retail trade. Employment has fallen slightly, but by nowhere near as much as in the mildest of past recessions. Reliable high-frequency indicators, such as the monthly purchasing managers' surveys, point to continuation of modest growth. Most importantly, consumer spending has remained robust.
Then there's economist David Malpass:
While many problems remain from the 2007-2008 financial crisis, the rebound from the two-quarter slowdown looks to have taken root. I expect 1-2% growth in the second quarter and 3% in the second half. Rising inflation and Fed rate hikes later in 2008 will bring periodic worries about the pace of rate hikes, causing occasional market jitters like the current one. But the low level of interest rates should win out for both the economic and equity market uptrends (as it did during the rate-hiking cycle in 2004-2006).