U.S.: The Economy's Big Disconnect

Consumers are still spending like crazy, even as U.S. factories slow down

Looking at the latest numbers, it's hard to believe that the consumer sector and U.S. industry are part of the same economy. Consumers this quarter are once again fearless in their spending, splurging on cars, houses, and other goods. Manufacturers, meanwhile, appear hapless. Production outside of the high-tech industries is struggling to rise, and payrolls are falling.

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