Merrill Lynch Economist Says Lack Of Stimulus Won't Delay Recovery

By John S. McClenahen If Congress recesses until late January without approving further fiscal stimulus, timing of the U.S. economic recovery will not be affected, asserts Bruce Steinberg, chief economist at Merrill Lynch & Co., New York. He's still predicting a recovery beginning in the second calendar quarter of 2002. However, the absence of additional stimulus could affect the strength of the recovery, says Steinberg, although he expects the U.S. economy to be growing at an inflation-adjusted annual rate of 5% in the second half of 2002. "We previously thought that risks were to the upside of our well-above-consensus forecast for that period," relates Steinberg. "Now the risks are probably tilted to the downside."

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