Bleak reading for the White House ahead of the president's jobs speech: David Leonhardt of the New York Times thinks the odds of a double-dip recession have spiked of late and might be around 50-50 now. The US had been putt-putting along in what looked to be a modest recovery for about a year until this spring, when job growth stalled. Since then, we're averaging about 40,000 new jobs a month, he notes, and "the last time such a meager increase did not coincide with a recession came in the 1950s."
One economist he interviews puts the chances of the US hitting a technical recession at 50% and the chances of us entering a period that at least feels like a recession at 100%. "History seems to suggest that the situation will probably get worse before it gets better," writes Leonhardt.