Most textbook economists say that the U.S. economy is engaged in a broad-based recovery. But while there's a consensus that there's no "double-dip" recession on the horizon, the evidence suggests the nation's economy is headed for a slowdown in the second half of 2010.
The reason: In a market that derives 70% of its growth from consumer spending, the last half of this year will be all about those consumers – and about the economy's inability to generate enough jobs to keep the nation's cash registers ringing.
If you add to that concern the end of the various government stimulus efforts, possible fallout from the Eurozone debt contagion, and oil in the Gulf of Mexico defiling the shores of four states, you end up with an economic outlook that's clouded with uncertainty.
And that uncertainty will continue to stifle hiring and will result in another round of consumer belt-tightening – and a continued economic malaise.