10 Signs the Double-Dip Recession has Begun

Free Republic Friday's news on GDP shows the double dip has arrived — an expansion of only 1.3 percent and consumer spending up 0.1 percent in the second quarter.

The U.S. has entered a second recession. It may not be as bad as the first. Economists say that the Great Recession began in December 2007 and lasted until July 2009. That may be the way that the economy was seen through the eyes of experts, but many Americans do not believe that the 2008-2009 downturn ever ended. A Gallup poll released in April found that 29 percent of those queried thought the economy was in a “depression” and 26 percent said that the original recession had persisted into 2011.

Perhaps the most powerful argument that the recession never ended or that a new one has begun is the persistence of unemployment. Fourteen million people are out of work. A third of those have been jobless for more than a year. Experts believe that the unemployment rate will not improve significantly until the monthly gain in jobs is consistently 300,000 jobs or more. And, at that rate the gains would have to go one for more than two years to bring the economy back to what is traditionally considered a reasonable unemployment figure.

There are several signs that a recession is firmly in place again and that the downturn could last for several quarters. Most are already easy for the average American to see.

The list: 1. Inflation 2. Investments have begun to yield less 3. The auto industry 4. Oil prices 5. The federal budget 6. China economy slows 7. Unemployment 8. Debt ceiling (but not any more) 9. Access To credit 10. Housing