NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- While most economists have stopped worrying that the U.S. will fall into a double-dip recession, one influential economist maintains his position that the nation won't be able to avoid a new downturn.
Lakshman Achuthan, co-founder of the Economic Cycle Research Institute, said on Friday that his research firm is sticking with the forecast it made in September: A new recession is inevitable, despite improvement in high-profile economic indicators, such as job creation and unemployment, and a stock market rally.
ECRI is one of the more widely respected firms on economic recessions, as it has never been wrong when forecasting that a recession would start, or failed to predict a recession well before it was widely accepted.
Achuthan predicts the recession will happen even without a new shock to the economy, such as a spike in oil and gas prices or a Greek sovereign debt default sparking a financial meltdown. If those things occur, he says they will simply make an inevitable recession more painful.
In fact, Achuthan said data gathered since his September forecast only confirms his view that economic growth has slowed to such a degree that a downturn is now unavoidable, likely by late summer.
"Now that we have several months of definitive hard data, this is not a forecast," he said, pointing to key measures that don't receive as much attention from the public or many economists. Keep on reading...