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Wed, Apr 15, 2009 - Page 10 News List

Fisher forecasts steep contraction in US GDP


Richard Fisher answers a question from the audience at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on Feb. 23.


US Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas president Richard Fisher said “grim” figures indicate the world’s largest economy shrank steeply last quarter.

“The economic data in the US is quite grim, and I expect a contraction at a very dazzling rate in the first quarter,” he said in a speech yesterday in Hong Kong.

Fisher reiterated his prediction that the unemployment rate may exceed 10 percent this year.

The bank president’s remarks come as US policy makers continue an unprecedented campaign to increase the money supplied to the economy. Fisher, 60, is among the most hawkish members of the Federal Open Market Committee, having voted five times last year in favor of tighter policy.

The central bank’s policies are likely to help end the US recession, Fisher said in the speech at a luncheon sponsored by the Asian Society of Hong Kong.

The US economy shrank at an annual 6.3 percent pace in the final three months of last year, the worst performance since 1982.

Fisher also said that the US and China depend on each other for economic prosperity.

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