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$80/b oil: An obstacle to US economic recovery

US unemployment data suggest the country's economic recovery remains weak. This will weigh on world energy markets in the coming months

"SURPRISE rise in jobless claims casts pall on the economy." So read one recent headline by a large US newswire. Another noted the "unexpected" rise. Why are headline writers so apparently shocked by this event? I'm shocked by their shock. It should remind us that the only reason economic forecasting was invented was to make astrology look respectable. In September the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), finally, declared the US credit recession ended in June 2009. As such, this recession which lasted 18 months was the longest contraction in economic activity since the onset of the Great Depression (August 1929 to March 1933). But if the US is indeed out of the recession, then isn'

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