Start planning people! Cut down on your debt and tighten your budgets!
Warren Buffett, the world's richest person, said on Monday the U.S. economy is in a recession that will be more severe than most people expect. Buffett made his comments on CNBC television after his Berkshire Hathaway Inc agreed to invest $6.5 billion in the takeover of chewing gum maker Wm Wrigley Jr Co (WWY.N) by Mars Inc in a $23 billion transaction.
"This is not a field of specialty for me, but my general feeling is that the recession will be longer and deeper than most people think," Buffett said. "This will not be short and shallow. I think consumers are feeling gas and food prices ," he added, "and not feeling they've got a lot of money for other things."
He was not immediately available for further comment. Known for his frugality, the 77yr old Buffett has lived in the same 10 room Omaha, Nebraska, house for a half century, despite being worth an estimated $62 billion. On Wednesday, the US Commerce Department is expected to say how fast the economy grew in the first quarter. Economists on average have projected that gross domestic product grew at an annualized 0.2% rate in the quarter.
Two quarters of declining GDP is a traditional indicator of recession. That last happened in 2001. Economists expect the US Federal Reserve on Wednesday to cut a key lending rate for a seventh time beginning last September.