A list of recent indicators supports the view that the U.S. economy is in the midst of a sustained downturn, with joblessness increasing into next year. "It's a slow-motion recession," Lehman Brothers economist Ethan Harris said. "We're not getting the classic two or three negative quarters. Instead, we're expecting two years of sub-par growth; growth that's not enough to generate jobs. It's kind of a chronic rather than an acute pain."

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