(source: National Post)

consumer and housing data encouraging


Call off Depression 2.0. While still far from healthy, the U.S. economy is showing some encouraging signs of life as consumers tiptoe back to the shopping mall, home builder pick up their hammers and manufacturers clear inventory.

That suggest the soon-to-be-completed first quarter will be as bad as it gets, and apocalyptic fears of another lengthy, painful Great Depression look unwarranted.

But it does not mean the recession is over.

A return to growth is still several months away, and it will probably be far longer before the economy is strong enough to create jobs. That means unemployment will continue to rise, and more people will fall behind on bill payments, keeping the pressure on banks at the epicentre of the financial crisis.

Read Emily Kaiser and Lucia Mutikani’s full article, “U.S. recession shows sign of easing” in the National Post (March 19 2009).

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