Slouching towards a US recession

As US consumers slash their spending, corporate cutbacks and global turmoil look set to drag the US into recession. Meanwhile, policymakers have run out of weapons.

Investors may be cheering the decision of US central bank boss Ben Bernanke to keep interest rates close to zero for the next few years, but their enthusiasm is about to be sorely tested by the souring economic outlook.

The US economy looks set to be dragged into recession this year, as exports slump, capital spending slows, and US consumers – who account for around 70 per cent of the economy – are forced to tighten their belts.

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