Forecasters expect gross domestic product growth to be negative for this quarter and next, with slightly fewer than half expecting the second quarter of 2009 to be negative, and almost one in three predicting the following quarter will also be negative, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s survey of professional forecasters released yesterday.

The forecasters project real GDP contracting at an annual rate of 2.9% in the fourth quarter and 1.1% in the first quarter of 2009, sharp downward revisions from the prior survey, when the forecasters anticipated 0.7% growth in the fourth quarter and 1.6% growth in the first quarter of 2009.

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