What's the Probability of a U.S. Recession in 2008?

by: Paul Kedrosky

A story in Tuesday's WSJ had economists upping the likelihood of a U.S. recession in 2008. Three-quarters of the 52 economists surveyed put the odds at or above 30%, but the range was gigantic from 5% to 90%. I put only teensy faith in what "up/down" economists -- I think that's Paul Krugman's phrase for market bingo-callers with no capital at risk -- have to say. That said, the likelihood of a U.S. recession is growing, and, credit crisis or no credit crisis, it's arguably somewhat overdue, with the current U.S. expansion now at the end of its sixth year. Either way, it's worth scanning a real market for the probability of a U.S. recession in 2008, and the one I use at Intrade says we are almost up to 60%.