The World

10 ESSENTIAL STORIES OF 2009

1 Washington

A Frail Economy Sputters Ahead

The deepest recession since the 1930s cast a shadow over the year, as the U.S. economy hemorrhaged jobs, manufacturing continued to erode, and housing prices failed to recover from the previous year's crash. Unemployment rose to 10.2%--the highest rate in 26 years--despite the Obama Administration's stimulus efforts, which pumped billions into the economy. Detroit was hit especially hard: Ford saw a steep drop in sales, Chrysler was taken over by Italian firm Fiat, and GM briefly entered bankruptcy. One bright spot was Wall Street, where stocks reversed much of 2008's decline. The economy showed...

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