Ethan Harris of BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research has good news...sort of.
The U.S. economy is so bad that the chance of avoiding a double dip back into recession may actually be pretty good.
The sectors of the economy that traditionally drive it into recession are already so depressed it’s difficult to see them getting a lot worse
What Harris doesn't bother to explain is that if things are that bad then we are in a Depression.
Inventories are near record lows in proportion to sales, residential construction is less than half the level of the housing boom and vehicle sales are more than 40 percent below five years ago.
On the other hand, Harris might be wrong.
“Things can get worse,” said Martin Feldstein, a professor at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and president emeritus of the National Bureau of Economic Research. “When the economy is moving forward at a very slow pace, very close to zero, the risk is we could slip over into the negative side of zero.”
So buck up. Things can't get much worse...unless they do.