Are we on the verge of a 'double dip?'

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange as concerns about the health of the American economy continue grow.

JEREMY HOBSON: Global stocks are down this morning after a plummet on Wall Street yesterday. It seems that bad jobs news, and poor manufacturing numbers are causing investors to wonder if we've hit a soft patch.

Or worse yet -- we're in a double-dip recession.

Marketplace's Gregory Warner tells us why there's so much concern all of a sudden.


GREGORY WARNER: Consumers aren't spending as much and yesterday we learned that companies aren't producing as much. Factory output fell by the sharpest level since 1984. That news combined with continuing reports about slow job growth and dropping house prices has investors worried. They dumped stocks and put their money into U.S. treasuries seen as safer in bad times.

Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at HIS Global Insight, said the recent spate of bad news doesn't foretell a second recession -- a so called 'double dip' -- but just means that recovery is always a slog.

NARIMAN BEHRAVESH: So it perhaps shouldn't come as such a big surprise that we have these fits and starts when it comes to growth. But I think there's nothing out there at this point anyway that would suggest we're headed into a true double dip. Slow growth -- yes. Double dip -- probably not.

By probably not, he put the chance at one in four.

In Philadelphia I'm Gregory Warner for Marketplace

About the author

Gregory Warner is a senior reporter covering the economics and business of healthcare for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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