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Spectre of the double-dip haunts uneasy US

Fears are growing for an economy carrying a 9.5% jobless rate and a predicted $4tn in excess mortgage debt


A crippled housing market. Stubbornly high levels of unemployment. Falling consumer confidence. Slower growth in industrial production. No wonder Ben Bernanke, the world’s most powerful central banker, appeared a worried man in his testimony to Congress about the state of the US economy last week.

Bernanke’s most striking observation was that the prospects for America were “unusually uncertain” – central-bank-speak for concern at the highest levels that the US was at risk of tipping back into a double-dip recession.

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