A double-dip recession refers to a recession, followed by a short-lived recovery, followed by another recession. And there are plenty of signs that this second coming of an economic downturn has officially arrived in America, including the fact that our Gross Domestic Product has only expanded by 1.3%, while consumer spending is up a mere .1% in the second quarter of 2011. Add to that the fact that the national debt, and Congress’s current stalemate to raise it, is only exacerbating the U.S.’s economic problems.
So, let’s assume the U.S. has entered another recession, it’s probably not as bad as the first. But try telling that to the many Americans who do not believe that the 2007-2009 downturn ever even ended. A Gallup poll released in April found that 29% of those queried thought the economy was in a “depression” and 26% said that the original recession had persisted into 2011.
But according to the financial experts at 24/7 Wall St., “Perhaps the most powerful argument that the recession never ended or that a new one has begun is the persistence of unemployment. Fourteen million people are out of work. A third of those have been jobless for more than a year. May employment data showed the jobless rate rose unexpectedly and that the economy added only 58,000 jobs. Experts believe that the unemployment rate will not improve significantly until the monthly gain in jobs is consistently 300,000 jobs or more. And, at that rate the gains would have to go one for more than two years to bring the economy back to what is traditionally considered a reasonable unemployment figure.”
But there are 10 additional signs that another recession has taken up shop here at home—signs that are already impacting the way average Americans see the world around then, including the first five:
Higher prices for everything from coffee to clothing are shaking consumer confidence and hurting hopes of spurring the flagging economy.
2. Low Yields on Investments
A good part of the economic recovery was driven by a stock market surge following March 2009. But that surge stumbled in the first quarter of 2011, leaving many wondering how to grow their nest eggs with few options.
3. The Auto Industry is Slowing Down
According to 24/7 Wall St., “Slow car sales are not just a sign of lagging consumer confidence. They also may be a harbinger of tougher times ahead. These companies shed several hundreds thousand jobs before and during the last recession. Car firms have only just begun to hire again, but that trend will die with a plateau in sales.”
4. Rising Gas Prices
Fueling (ahem) the second coming economic crisis are rising gas prices, causing pain at the pump for most recession-weary consumers. And people who don’t drive also don’t go shopping, further weakening the spending that ultimately drives the American economy.
5. The Bonking Federal Budget
According to 24/7 Wall St., “The federal budget deficit has decimated any chance for another economic stimulus package which many prominent economists like Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman say is essential to create a full recovery.”
This year’s double-dip could therefore mean we’re headed back to the dire economic straits of 2007 through 2009—when you were forced to look at other options when considering how to get by, whatever the cost.
If you’re feeling the pinch, things are likely to be bad for a while. As a result, now may be the best time to reconsider your options to diminish debt and start saving for a “rainy decade.”
And one of the best options out there is a personal bankruptcy.
If you too have been affected by the first (or now, second) economic crisis, knowing a qualified bankruptcy attorney can help, yielding the right kinds of support, information and insights—at a low cost— for a viable and secure future beyond “the dip.” The bankruptcy attorneys at the Law Offices of John T. Orcutt offer a totally FREE debt consultation. Just call toll free to 1-888-234-4181, or make an appointment online at www.billsbills.com. Simply click on the yellow “FREE Consultation Now” button. Now offering "zero-money down bankruptcy"! That's right, if you qualify, you don't need to pay us a dime before we file your case.