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Economist and Strategist Both Say 'Double-Dip' Recession Not Likely

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“We do not expect a double-dip recession,” according to Bank of New York Chief Economist, Richard B. Hoey in his latest “Economic Update,” released Monday.

Wilmington Trust Investment Management CIO Rex Macey also says he believes that “a ‘double-dip’ is unlikely,” in his latest edition of “Market Notes,” released Friday.

Macey says in his “notes” that “it’s time for investors to consider being less defensive–bonds aren’t as safe as they used to be,” and that “long-term investors” may find stocks to be “a better value than taxable bonds.” He pegs “real” production in the U.S. for the first half of the year at “3%,” and notes that “output…prices…employment…and real estate prices are up.” He notes that bonds, while less volatile than equities, may not outpace inflation at the current 10-year rates of return, and with the risk that inflation may erode bond returns, dividend-paying stocks and certain sectors should be considered now.

Uncertainty over taxes and economic growth are still a concern, Macey adds, as lawmakers debate with the administration over which direction taxes will take–to cut, or not to cut–and growth–to stimulate or not to stimulate the economy.

Hoey is fairly optimistic in his assessment of the economy: “We continue to believe that both the global economy and the U.S. economy are in sustained economic expansions.” As he puts it, America “has been in a slowdown within what we expect to be a sustained subpar economic expansion.” He predicts the worst of the “slowdown within” to be in Q2 and Q3 2010.

“The “long hangover” from the credit boom and bust,” Hoey asserts, “explains why the economic expansion is likely to be subpar, but does not imply a double-dip recession.” He says that “consumer spending growth is likely to be positive but slow.”

Comments? Please send them to [email protected]. Kate McBride, AIF(R), is editor in chief of Wealth Manager and a member of The Committee for the Fiduciary Standard.