Economy worsens as consumer pessimism feeds upon itself

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Employers delaying or suspending hiring. Home buyers getting cold feet. Shoppers pulling back on spending.

Hesitation is weakening the American economy, as Monday’s disastrous day on Wall Street reaffirmed what many companies and ordinary Americans have been fearing for weeks: this is too tumultuous a time for businesses or households to be contemplating expansion.

Just a few months ago, analysts were predicting that the economy would grow about 4 percent this year. The forecast is now closer to half that number as a wave of pessimism sweeps the country.

Full story: A Wave of Worry Threatens to Build on Itself