That was the first time that has happened in more than three years. Several important measures of manufacturing activity have also contracted in recent weeks, and consumer confidence is way down. There is a tremendous amount of economic pessimism in the air right now, and Americans are pulling enormous amounts of money out of our banks and they are buying up precious metals at unprecedented rates. Meanwhile, our "leaders" seem very confused about what is happening. For example, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid continues to insist that we are "in a recovery", and some other Democrats are calling the latest GDP numbers "the best-looking contraction in U.S. GDP you'll ever see". On the other hand, the Federal Reserve says that economic growth has "paused" in recent months, and therefore a continuation of their latest quantitative easing scheme is necessary.
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