Here Comes Your Nineteenth Nervous Breakdown

Or arecession, whatever.

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A U.S. recession has already started and the downturn is likely to last longer than in the recent past, with the economy recovering only late next year, according to a quarterly survey of corporate finance chiefs released on Wednesday.

Fifty-four percent of the CFOs said the United States is in recession, and another 24 percent said there is a high likelihood of one starting later this year, according to a Duke University/CFO Magazine survey completed on March 7.

Nearly three-quarters of the CFOs said they were more pessimistic this quarter than in the prior quarter about the U.S. economy, reflecting concerns about consumer spending, turmoil in credit and housing markets, and high energy prices.

An index of optimism, which rates the economy on a 1 to 100 scale, is at 52, the lowest in the seven-year history of the index, the survey found.

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