Prediction markets have proven very accurate at predicting future events such as election outcomes. These markets tend to be more accurate than polls because real money is at risk. Telling CNBC that you think we're in recession carries no risk except reputationally and even that is minimal. If economists got fired for getting predictions wrong, every economist employed on Wall Street would have to change jobs. Anyway, the Intrade contract on recession is falling:
Actually, the chart doesn't appear to show the action from today. The contract is currently 33-35. These contracts are pretty volatile and this could be pointing to recession next week, but at least for now, the betting crowd says no recession in 2008.