Fed's Lacker: US may avoid recession

Growth has been slow for 2008, but the US has avoided a recession and the odds of a severe downturn appear to have fallen, said Jeffrey Lacker, the president of Richmond Fed.

Speaking to an audience in South Carolina, Lacker noted that over the last two quarters, real GDP grew at an annual rate of only 0.75%, about one quarter of the long-run potential.

"Earlier this year, many observers extrapolated this slowdown into an outright decline in economic activity and concluded that the economy was

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