Magazine News Blogger

Spring 2009

Freddie Mac executive predicts unemployment rates will continue to rise during 2009

Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist for Freddie Mac, spoke at the Partners In Business Finance Seminar in January 2009 and predicted this recession will be the longest and most severe the nation has had since the 1980’s.

“I wish I had better news to share with you,” he said at the beginning of his presentation. “I just want to prepare you. I’ve got a lot of grim news on the macro outlook and on the housing and mortgage markets.”

He followed that, however, with one of the only bright spots he was seeing.

“The best thing I can say is mortgage rates are low,” he said. “That’s good.”

He predicted that the recession would last until the mid part of 2009, maybe longer.

“This recession will be the longest and most severe since the early 1980s,” he said.

In December 2008, the unemployment rate nationwide was 7.2 percent, the highest in 16 years. He predicted those rates would rise to 8.7 percent by the fourth quarter of 2009.