"We would have to see signs of this intensification: there are some, but not many yet,'' he said. "Therefore ... I would not describe the situation we are in as a recession, although the chances that we'll have one are more than 50 percent.''
A sharp downturn in the U.S. housing market has led to a full-blown credit crisis that has reverberated throughout the U.S. financial system.
The economy has become increasingly important in the U.S. presidential campaign, topping the list of voters' concerns heading into the November election.
Greenspan, the U.S. Fed chairman from 1987 to 2006, endorsed the Republican presidential candidate John McCain in the interview. "I'm Republican and I support John McCain, who I know very well and who I respect a lot,'' he said.