Recession Lite

Workers furloughed. Sales down. Retailers overloaded with inventory. Although technically the U.S. economy isn't in recession, to many in the industry, it sure feels like one. Yet, among those who monitor the economy, opinions differ. The National Bureau of Economic Research and the Index of Leading Indicators from the Conference Board say we're not in a recession, but data from the New York-based Economic Cycle Research Institute indicate that we are. Among leading economists interviewed by JCK, some predicted improvement by the end of the year. Still, no one's expecting miracles. Larry Lindsey, director of the President's National Economic Council, told the media that second-quarter economic growth was flat and the economy will likely see only 1% growth in the third quarter and 2% in the fourth. That's slightly more pessimistic than the consensus from "Blue Chip Economic Indicators

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