Is the Recovery Over?

The latest economic-growth figures are grim

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The U.S. government's gross-domestic-product report for the first quarter of 2011, released April 28, showed that nearly every sector of the economy slowed compared with the last three months of 2010. The numbers were weaker than expected. Consumer spending down. Business spending down. Housing sector down. Exports down. Federal spending way, way down. (It decreased 7.9%, the largest drop in more than a decade.) The housing sector is also decreasing. There was, of course, one thing that was up: inflation. So is this a brief pause on the way to a healthy recovery, or is it the first sign, now that the stimulus package has ended and Ben Bernanke says he'll stop juicing the bond market come June, that this recovery was never really sustainable? Right now, most signs point to the latter.