FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said the likelihood of an American recession remained 50 percent, reiterating in comments released Wednesday that there were ''few signs thus far that we are already in one.''
Greenspan's comments came in an interview published on German newspaper Die Zeit's Web site on the same day the Fed is expected to announce its second interest rate cut in just more than a week.
''While I believe the odds of a recession are 50 percent or better, there is as yet little evidence that we have moved into one,'' he was quoted by the newspaper as saying. ''Recessions are characterized by discontinuities, often sharp changes in employment and production. With the exception of a few such events in the last three weeks there are not enough of them to say the regime has really changed. I think that it probably will, but the evidence says, it has not yet.''
Asked if the Fed, or any economic stimulus packages offered up the U.S. government, could help ward off any recession, Greenspan said likely not.
''Global forces can now override most anything that monetary and fiscal policy can do,'' he told the newspaper.