OUTLOOK: New Cause for a Pause

The productive capability of the U.S. economy is so great that every recession in the nation's recent history has been caused by a weakness in demand for its tremendous output of goods and services. Next year, though, the nation will experience something new: a slowdown caused by the inability of fuel-short businesses to satisfy demand. Members of TIME'S Board of Economists warned at a meeting last week that the pause could easily turn into the U.S.'s first "supply-induced recession" ever.

That is not an inevitable outcome. Indeed, the board's consensus forecast is that the slide will be over by midyear,...

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