What is shaping up as the deepest and longest recession since the 1930s will end in the second half of 2009, Wells Fargo's senior economists predicted during the company's annual economic forecast teleconference.
The ongoing impact of $2 trillion in government stimulus, with other factors such as pent-up consumer demand and returning consumer confidence, will finally lead to a turnaround, and the third quarter of next year will be "better than expected" by many, said Dr. Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist of Wells Capital Management. "It's like you're at a cookout and you're trying and trying to get your charcoal going and you keep squirting on lighter fluid and all of a sudden it goes ‘poof!'" Paulsen said.
Dr. Scott Anderson, senior economist for Wells Fargo & Company, predicted that the housing sector will lead the way. "One bright note is that the sector that led the economy into this morass is about to turn the corner, perhaps as soon as this summer, and will start to lead us out," Anderson said.