Don’t Look Now, But. . .

Is the U.S. economy unexpectedly slipping toward a downturn? From today’s Wall Street Journal:

U.S. Companies Warn of Slowing Economy

By THEO FRANCIS and KATE LINEBAUGH

Quarterly profits and revenue at big American companies are poised to decline for the first time since the recession, as some industrial firms warn of a pullback in spending.

From railroads to manufacturers to energy producers, businesses say they are facing a protracted slowdown in production, sales and employment that will spill into next year. Some of them say they are already experiencing a downturn.

“The industrial environment’s in a recession. I don’t care what anybody says,” Daniel Florness, chief financial officer of Fastenal Co., told investors and analysts earlier this month. A third of the top 100 customers for Fastenal’s nuts, bolts and other factory and construction supplies have cut their spending by more than 10% and nearly a fifth by more than 25%, Mr. Florness said.

I’m sure it’s nothing another trillion dollar government “stimulus” package can’t fix. Paul Krugman, call your office.

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