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Are We Already in a New Recession?

Via-Front Page Magazine

By Arnold Ahlert

On Sunday, President Barack Obama contended that the nation is “poised to improve economic growth in 2013, but what’s been holding us back is the dysfunction here in Washington.” Obama is certainly correct about the dysfunction in our nation’s capital, but whether America’s economy will be heading in the right direction next year is beginning to resemble the “recovery summer” talk from a couple of years ago that turned out to be just that: talk. Furthermore, based on recent economic data, some economists believe the U.S. is already in another recession.

“The evidence is starting to mount a recession is already underway, and we’re a few months into it,” contends Lakshman Achuthan, co-founder of the Economic Cycle Research Institute (ECRI). Despite economic growth of 2.7 percent in the third quarter, he believes July was the month when the new recession began. Achuthan bases that call on data released by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), noting that three of the four indicators NBER uses to forecast downturns–production, incomes and sales–all peaked in mid-summer. He characterizes the improving employment number as the “odd man out,” but insists that “jobs are going to turn down and join the other indicators in their downturns,” further noting that the slight increase in jobs and GDP is “not inconsistent” with historical patterns that show both indicators have often improved at the start of recessions.

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