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Economist: No one can predict recession's end

Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published February 8, 2002

Let other economists join the chorus predicting that recovery is right around the corner. Robert Dederick, who retired as chief economist for Northern Trust and is still a consultant for the bank, takes a more measured view.

The war against terrorism is such a big -- and unknown -- factor that equations predicting economic recovery don't mean very much, says Dederick, who is making the rounds to meet with the bank's Florida customers.

"No economist knows the economic outlook," he told one group in Tampa on Tuesday, "and you won't know it a week from now and you won't know it a month from now."

All recessions eventually end, so this one will too, Dederick acknowledged, but the uncertainty of the world political climate makes it impossible to know when.

"We don't even know where the vice-president sleeps," quipped Dederick. "For 200 years, we didn't care what the vice-president did, and now that we do care, we can't find him."

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