NEW YORK (AFP) - A majority of American investors believe the troubled US economy has fallen into a recession, according to a survey released Tuesday by asset management giant Schroders. A total 62 percent of the poll respondents said they believed that the world's largest economy was contracting, Schroders Investment Management said. Despite this gloomy outlook, however, nearly all the investors polled, or 94 percent, said they still expect to reap a positive return on their market investments during the next 12 months. "While we anticipate that the economic performance in the US will be significantly worse than originally expected, the interest-rate outlook is more favorable and ultimately the inflation outlook is as well," said Alan Brown, chief investment officer at Schroders. Although some investors believe the US economy is in a recession, it is still expanding albeit at a lackluster pace. The economy grew at a 1.0 percent annualized clip in the first quarter, according to government figures, and most economists believe growth accelerated to a 2.3 percent pace during the second quarter. But US stock markets have fallen sharply this year amid a continued housing market slump, a broad credit crunch and rocketing world oil prices. Despite the housing market woes, the Schroders survey showed that 27 percent of investors still see property as one of the top three investment categories during an economic downturn, alongside US and foreign stocks. And although the hedge-fund industry has expanded aggressively in recent years, just two percent of investors viewed them as an "opportunistic" investment, according to the survey. Schroders manages 259 billion dollars in client assets. Its online survey of 507 US investors, holding at least 100,000 dollars in investments, was conducted between May 27-28.