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Greenspan: Double-dip recession unlikely

April 4, 2010 at 5:29 PM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, April 4 (UPI) -- Ex-Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan said Sunday in his opinion the likelihood of a so-called double-dip recession in the United States has waned.

"I think the odds of that have fallen very significantly in the last two months," Greenspan said in an appearance on ABC's "This Week" news program.

Greenspan said he doesn't think it's impossible by any means to foresee job growth kicking upward toward the 300,000-a-month range.

"There is a momentum building up which is really just beginning, and it's got a way to go," he said.

He noted Americans are moving back toward consumption mode after pulling back when they saw their retirement funds evaporate. He also cited "fairly substantial" increase in corporations' investment in equipment.

"But most important of all is this incredible increase in the difficulties -- I should put it this way -- the increase in the lead times that it takes purchasing managers to get new materials for inventories," Greenspan said. "What that necessarily means is that they're going to have to build inventories to protect their production lines at an ever-increasing pace. And that is a self-reinforcing cycle."

Greenspan also said he didn't think there would be a significant downturn in commercial real estate and that the momentum for job creation should continue at least into late this year, two reasons to think the U.S. economy won't slump back into recession.

Also appearing on the show was National Economic Council Director Lawrence Summers, who sidestepped when asked if the U.S. jobless rate will still be hovering at 9.7 percent in September.

When asked that question on ABC's "This Week" news program, Summers said he expects to see continued progress in job creation and that tends to push unemployment down.

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