THE RECESSION: Gloomy Holidays--and Worse Ahead

Not for many years has a Christmas season begun with so many tidings of spreading discomfort and lack of joy about the U.S. economy. Already racked by a devastating double-digit inflation, the nation is now also plunging deeper into a recession that seems sure to be the longest and could be the most severe since World War II. Consumers who a few weeks ago worried mostly about rising prices now fear for their jobs and incomes as well. For many Americans, the Yuletide will be a time of less elaborate meals, infrequent...

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