America's current recession will be shorter and milder than most believe, and once the Middle East war is concluded consumer confidence will increase significantly, according to Larry Kimbell, group senior vice president of the Wharton Econometrics Forecasting Associates Group.

Kimbell said some clouds on the economic horizon are the problems with financial institutions and there could be some problems on the international scene as Germany is unified and there is a push to keep interest rates high in that country.Speaking to members of the Wasatch Front Economic Forum in the Marriott Hotel, Kimbell said many people expected oil prices to rise once the war in the Middle East started, but fortunately the opposite is true. He said the stock market has reacted favorably to the allied success, a trend that should continue once the war is over.

Kimbell said there will be tremendous amounts of money spent in the postwar reconstruction period in Kuwait, but American firms probably will have the inside track because American troops are working to liberate the country.