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Ouch, indeed. But only ’cause it’s true.
Via US News:
There’s not much to cheer in our scrappy election campaign. We hear that more than 4.4 million private sector jobs have been added in 28 straight months of job growth, and that the president is taking “aggressive steps to put Americans back to work.” The happy talk invites a slogan from the 1984 election: “Where’s the beef?”
The assessment that the U.S. economy is “stuck in the mud,” just given to lawmakers by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, underscores yet again that there has been no recovery since the theoretical ending of the recession in June 2009. For the 80 percent of Americans who were born after World War II, this is their Depression.
The most dismaying signal of a weakening economy came from the American consumer, as retail sales fell a stunning 0.5 percent in June, far below the expectation for a 0.2 percent increase. An astounding 70 percent of retailers missed their sales targets in June, reflecting the most difficult month since November 2009. The retail weakness was broad-based, and indicators were down dramatically from the first quarter, as June represented the third month in a row that retail sales have weakened. In the past when retail sales were down three consecutive months, it was a signal of an oncoming recession. The result is that the underlying trend in GDP growth is barely above 1 percent.