U.S. Economy May Keep Sliding After Shrinking Most Since 1982

The problem with trying to warn people about the disaster pending is that when it happens you’re sort of at a loss of what to put on your blog. I mean now that every other blog worth their business is calling for and to the financial crisis denial it sort of gets boring, doesn’t it.

Oh more financial disaster? Try telling us something we don’t know. But here you have it kids, we’re going down.

By Timothy R. Homan

Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) — The U.S. economy is likely to keep deteriorating in early 2009 after shrinking last quarter by the most since 1982, as consumers and businesses retrench.

The 3.8 percent annual pace of contraction in the fourth quarter was less than forecast, with a buildup of unsold goods cushioning the blow. Excluding inventories, the decline was 5.1 percent, the Commerce Department said yesterday in Washington.

Job cuts announced this month by companies from Starbucks Corp. and Pep Boys – Manny, Moe & Jack to Eastman Kodak Co. mean there’ll be little respite in the first half of this year, economists said. The Obama administration used the figures to reinforce its call for Congress to pass a stimulus package in excess of $800 billion to arrest the economy’s decline.

“The recession is going to last through most of 2009, and we’ll be lucky to have growth back at zero by the end of the year,” Kenneth Rogoff, a Harvard University economics professor, said in a Bloomberg Television interview from Davos, Switzerland, yesterday. Economic growth “will be pretty tepid for a long time.”

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