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Stiglitz Warns US Economy May Contract Next Year

AP
Monday, 21 Dec 2009 | 4:26 AM ET

Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz warned there's a "significant" chance the U.S. economy will contract in the second half of next year, and urged the government to prepare a second stimulus package to spur job creation.

"The likelihood of this slowdown is very, very high," Stiglitz told reporters in Singapore. "There is a significant chance that the number will be in the negative range."

Stiglitz, a professor at Columbia University, called on Washington to make more funds available to state governments who face a drop in tax revenue.

The U.S. economy, the world's largest, must grow at least 3 percent to create enough jobs for new entrants into the labor force, he said.

Joseph E. Stiglitz
Source: Wikipedia
Joseph E. Stiglitz

The unemployment rate fell to 10 percent in November from 10.2 percent in October.

"If you don't prepare now, and the economy turns out to be as weak as I think it's likely to be, then you'll be in a very difficult position," he said.

The economy grew at a 2.8 percent rate in July through September, after a record four straight quarters of contraction.

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