BLOODY MARY, Bloody Mary, Blood. . .Wait, does the curse still hold if one simply writes her name three times? Economists seem to have developed their own urban legend about the “R” word. There’s a fear that simply saying the word “recession” out loud will be enough to cause one to happen. In a sense, though, that may be true. Consumer spending has been a big part of what’s kept the United States economy going as well as it has been. How people feel about their personal situations today and their prospects in the near term—or consumer confidence—has a strong bearing on their willingness

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