Chief financial officers in the United States expect a recessionas soon as next year, adding to signs that the outlook is souringamong businesses and consumers amid a trade war and volatilefinancial markets.

About 49 percent of respondents see an economic downturn by theend of 2019, while 82 percent expect that a recession will havebegun by the end of 2020, the Duke University/CFO Global BusinessOutlook fourth-quarter survey showed Wednesday. The poll's U.S.optimism index fell to 66.4, the lowest since the third quarter of2017.

The recession concerns suggest the business community issignificantly more downbeat than economists. One of the widestmeasures of what the latter expect, the Federal Reserve Bank ofPhiladelphia's Survey of Professional Forecasters, puts the oddsthat the economy will be shrinking in a year's time at 23percent.

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