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RPT-U.S. already in mild recession - S&P

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NEW YORK, April 24 (Reuters) - The United States is in a recession but the downturn is expected to be mild because consumer spending is not expected to fall precipitously, Standard & Poor’s said on Thursday.

The recession will not put as much downward pressure on commodity prices as in a typical recession, S&P chief economist David Wyss told an oil and natural gas round-table meeting with the media.

“We are in a recession, but I think it will be a mild recession,” Wyss said, adding “unless this turns into a consumer strike it should only be a mild downturn.”

Wyss said the recession has been driven primarily by a downturn in the housing market, and that there were some signs the worst may be over for the flagging U.S. homes sector. (Reporting by Chris Reese; Editing by James Dalgleish)