TOUGHER TIMES

THE SITUATION CERTAINLY LOOKS BLEAK: Food costs are up, gas is creeping closer to $4 a gallon, health care spending is growing at nearly three times the rate of inflation and the housing market is stagnant. As a result, consumer confidence is the lowest it's been in years more than three-quarters of the population believe the economy is currently in recession, numerous reports show. And the hits just

THE SITUATION CERTAINLY LOOKS BLEAK: Food costs are up, gas is creeping closer to $4 a gallon, health care spending is growing at nearly three times the rate of inflation and the housing market is stagnant. As a result, consumer confidence is the lowest it's been in years — more than three-quarters of the population believe the economy is currently in recession, numerous reports show.

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