The U.S. recession, officially one year old, already has run longer than average for the post-World War II era. U.S. joblessness will get worse before it gets better. IHS Global Insight Inc. foresees its peaking at just above 8 percent in early 2010.

U.S. exports, a key element of economic activity, "will be in negative territory" by the third quarter of 2009 and not likely to return to positive terrain until the third quarter of 2010, says Nigel Gault, an IHS Global Insight economist.

U.S. housing starts, another key indicator, fell 4.5 percent in October from September, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 791,000 units - the lowest level for any month since at least 1947. Some economists expect the rate to drop to 720,000 units by summer 2009 as excess houses are sold. A rebound to 1.08 million is considered likely in 2010.


- Diane Mastrull