WASHINGTON, DC-Businesses and consumers wondering whether the US economy is going into recession can stop the debate now. According to analysts at Global Insight, the latest set of economic metrics show the economy is past the tipping point and if it hasn’t already gone into recession it will in the first half of 2008. The only question is whether it will be a mild contraction or a deep one. For now, based on current indicators, it appears as though the recession will be mild and by 2009 housing and construction will be contributing slightly to the economy, instead of dragging it down.

“The economy is reeling from a double shock,” explained Nigel Gault, group managing director for Global Insight’s North American Macro Services, during a web cast this morning. One shock–the initial spark to the current problems– was of course the housing downturn and related credit crunch, which is now broadening into unrelated parts of the economy. The second shock is the ongoing pressure of oil prices that hover close to $100 per barrel.

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