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What if they gave an economic recovery and nobody came? Although some key measures of the economy show steady albeit numbingly unspectacular growth, consumers and businesses continue to behave in ways more characteristic of a recession. The chart you see here, produced by Cahners Economics in conjunction with its Cahners Business Index, reflects the conviction among a majority of executives on Cahners’ business-confidence panel that spending cuts–not sales increases-are still the way to make the bottom line come out right.

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