"The sluggishness is apparent in the retail sector, where 70 percent of chain stores posted weaker-than-expected October sales results, according to research firm Retail Metrics.
"We expect the challenging retail environment to continue for the foreseeable future," Mike Ullman, chairman and chief executive officer of department store chain J.C. Penney (JCP.N: Quote, Profile, Research), said last week. He added that the company would keep inventory levels tight through 2008."Respected economist Nouriel Roubini writes "Any recession call for the U.S. is clearly dependent on US consumption faltering. Since residential investment is only 5% of even a worsening housing recession cannot – by itself – trigger an economy-wide recession. Rather, since private consumption is over 70% of aggregate demand a sharp and persistent slowdown in consumption growth – below 1% or even negative - is necessary to trigger a full blown recession