The dreaded “R” word—recession—is in on the tip of many tongues right now. Are we in a recession? Far be it from me to trespass on the sacred territory of the official keepers of economic data in Washington—those who officially decree the onset or end of a recession (although not until months after the fact)—but take a look around.
New home construction has declined nearly 25 percent in the last year. Those employed in the construction industry must feel like they are in a recession. Home sales have plummeted. Lots of real-estate agents are experiencing their own recession. In southeastern Michigan, the auto industry is doing so poorly that if feels more like a depression. Nationwide, not only are there record home foreclosures, but delinquency rates on auto loans and credit card debt are increasing at a worrisome rate. Retail sales are down modestly year over year. If this isn’t a recession, it sure seems like one.
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