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Difference of opinion: Upper Midwest economists downplay double-dip recession


UNDATED (WSAU) Bank economists in the Upper Midwest do not believe America is headed toward a double-dip recession.

But Associated Trust vice president Sara Walker of Milwaukee says “everyone is ratcheting their expectations down” after stock markets throughout the world took a tumble yesterday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged by 391 points, or 3.5-percent. And after big sell-offs on Wednesday, the Dow completed its biggest two-day drop since December of 2008.

European stock markets fared even worse. Germany’s market plunged by five-percent.

U-S Bank investment strategist Jim Russell says Europe now appears to be the biggest short-term problem for the American economy. There were numerous concerns that the European Union is not prepared to a handle a credit crisis that could turn into a double-dip recession there. As the world’s financial leaders get together in Washington this weekend, Russell said U-S Bank expects slow economic growth here for the next year-and-a-half. He said unemployment would remain high, and it would not take much of a foreign disruption to drive the country into another recession.