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Thursday, March 13, 2008

71% of Economists Say We Are In A Recession

Fully 71% of 51 Economists of surveyed agreed the US economy has slid into recession according to Wall Street Journals online edition today.

Retail sales fell a pointed .6% in February as consumer spending tumbled. Consumers continue to grapple with high fuel prices, bad home value information and shrinking 401Ks due to market issues.

This is a big turnaround from just 5 weeks ago. 20 surveyed felt the economy would actually go backwards for the year and that unemployment would rise to 5.5%

The turnaround in opinion can be traced to the recent employment report that showed a loss of 63,000 jobs for the month. The second month in a row with negative job growth.

A better phrase is probably "recessionary" as the textbook definition of a recession is two consecutive quarters of GNP (Gross National Product) decline. However, I prefer the "Poor Richard" definition. "A Recession is when your friend loses his job, a depression is when you do!"

Unless some stability to home and gas prices (although in different directions!) can be found the public psychology is going to get tighter which could accelerate the slowdown. It is going to be a tough Election round in the US. As the sign said..."It's the Economy, Stupid!"


Fiscal Musings said...

I keep hearing the word recession in the news over and over. Since by definition we won't know until after 6 months, I think it's a little overkill in the media.

RacerX said...

There will be a new word that comes out of this..."Worriflation" the worry about the economic trends can push us into a classical recession. Doesn't mean that we shouldn't be doing something now though. My fear is that the cure could be worse then the disease.

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