It’s a cliche — but true — that a huge obstacle to a stronger economic recovery is the lack of confidence in a strong recovery. If consumers and businesses were more confident, they would be spending, hiring and lending more freely. Even a slight relaxation might do wonders for the subpar nature of the expansion, highlighted by May’s meager 54,000 increase in payroll jobs. Instead, we’re deluged with reports suggesting that, because the recession was so deep, it will take many years to regain anything like the pre-crisis prosperity.
Just last week, for example, the McKinsey Global Institute, the research arm of the consulting firm, released a study estimating that the country needs 21 million additional jobs by 2020 to reduce the unemployment rate to 5 per cent. The study was sceptical that this would happen. Ugh. Pessimism and slow growth become a vicious cycle.
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