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Don’t panic: Economy is not as bad as ‘experts’ say

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Take a deep breath. Two. Unclench your hands. Let loose your shoulders. Look out at a brilliant fall sky. Leaves. Breathe again, but for scent. Put this global/financial/political whatever-it-is ... put it down. Back away from it, and look at it from a long ways off. Domestic U.S. growth is marginal, but not recession. New weekly unemployment claims are steady near 400,000, with no new wave of layoffs. Purchase mortgage applications are too low to work off excess inventory, but they are stable. The Chicago Federal Reserve Bank's national index is at -43, which is below the long-term trend line at zero in its index but far above the -70 that would mark recession. Orders for durable goods were flat in August, but held the huge July gain. It's flat and soggy, but hardly over the cliff that you'd think from listening to many media reports -- and especially to the talk from people in financial markets. These financial folks are normally the Pollyannas of the airwaves. Upon any d...