Forecasters See Weak Economy Even If Housing, Credit Improve

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Washington (AP) First the good news: the worst of the painful housing slump and the credit crunch might come to an end this year. Now the bad: the economy will weaken further and unemployment will rise.

That's the latest outlook from forecasters in a survey by the National Association For Business Economics.

A growing number of economists believe the country is on the brink of a recession or in one already, dragged down by all the problems in housing, credit and financial markets.

Fifty-six percent of the economists surveyed think the economy has started or will enter a recession this year. That's up from 45 percent in a survey in February.

The economists forecasting recession think it will probably be short and shallow.