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Economic Growth is Subpar, but Recession is Not Imminent
Mar 21, 2007
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The U.S. economy has been in a slow-growth mode since mid-2006 and that pattern is likely to persist during the first half of this year, according to David F. Seiders, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Seiders  said the dramatic contraction in housing production exerted the strongest drag on GDP growth during the second half of last year and believes the pattern will be repeated in the first quarter of 2007. "But we expect the housing drag to ease off in the second quarter, and we're projecting positive contributions to GDP growth from RFI (residential fixed investment) during the second half of the year," he wrote in NAHB's Eye on the Economy.

Seiders noted that uncertainties about the economic impact of the ongoing U.S. housing "correction" have spurred more speculation about potential economic recession later in 2007. "Alan Greenspan, the former Fed chairman, recently put a one-third probability on recession in 2007 at the same time that the current Fed chairman, Ben Bernanke, was expressing confidence in the resilience of the U.S. economy," Seiders noted. "We stand closer to Bernanke, putting a 20-percent probability on recession in 2007, although uncertainties surrounding the outlook for housing finance and the housing supply-demand balance are formidable."

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