Buffett says US still in recession
The billionaire investor has his own definition of the word and does not agree that the downturn ended more than a year ago.
"We're still in a recession," Buffett told CNBC TV in an interview broadcast today. "We're not gonna be out of it for a while, but we will get out."
On Monday, the National Bureau of Economic Research said the world's largest economy ended an 18-month recession in June 2009 but cautioned that its assessment does not mean normal activity has resumed.
Buffett said he defines a recession differently than the NBER does, saying a downturn ends when real per-capita gross domestic product returns to its pre-downturn level.
President Barack Obama said Monday that economic weakness is "still very real" for the millions of Americans who are out of work, have seen the value of their homes fall or are mired in debt.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Federal Reserve, which has already driven short-term lending rates to near zero, said it is prepared to provide additional stimulus to support economic expansion and avert possible deflation.
"We've used up a lot of bullets," Buffett said. "And we talk about stimulus. But the truth is, we're running a federal deficit that's 9% of GDP. That is stimulative as all get out."
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