The New York Times is already taking 'the recovery' for granted

I was struck by this headline in today's New York Times:

High Gas Prices Could Slow Recovery

All this green shoots talk has apparently convinced the New York Times that its a foregone conclusion that the recovery will start in the next few months.  Here is how I would have written the headline:

High Gas Prices Could Deepen Recession

My view is that high gas prices won't slow recovery, they will kill the "green shoots" outright before they have a chance to grow.  If oil and gas prices continue to grow for the rest of 2009 it will cause consumer spending on all other sectors to continue to fall.  I don't see how we can have any meaningful recovery if consumer spending falls.

My personal intuition, which I haven't taken the time to try and support with evidence, is that the recession was triggered by the spike in oil and gas prices last summer.  I suspect that rising gas prices were the straw that broke the camel's back for a lot of people who went into default on their mortgages.

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