While avoiding the word "recession," Treasury Secretary Nicholas Brady acknowledged what all the government's numbers have been showing - that the nation's economy is in a "significant slowdown."

But Brady said Sunday a recession is "no big deal" and this one will be short - over in less than a year.He did, however, call on the Federal Reserve Board to lower interest rates to spur economic activity and bring the nation more quickly out of the downturn.

Brady made his comments on NBC's "Meet the Press."

"I've been a little slow to declare `national recession day,' " Brady said. "But it's quite clear - there's no point in being unrealistic - that we're going to have a significant economic slowdown in the fourth quarter of this year.

"I expect that that will continue into the first quarter of next year. We don't know how much, but we expect that during 1991 it will turn around and we will be back on the growth path jobs and investment during that year."