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One Quarter and Counting


As expected, the Commerce Department announced this morning that the economy contracted in the last quarter. The 0.3 percent contraction was smaller than expected (it approximately equaled the contraction of the third quarter of 2001), but consumer spending declined for the first time in 17 years (and saw the biggest decline in 28 years), and the decline in spending on non-durable goods (like food and clothing) was the largest since 1950; all of which suggests another contraction in the current quarter is likely. Two would make a recession.


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