Evidence of a recession piles higher with new data

Financial Crisis Posted on

Evidence of a recession piled ever higher Friday, with new figures showing Americans are spending less and gloomy about the economy, while the government signaled it won't buy stock in the financing arms of auto companies to prop them up. The Commerce Department reported consumer spending dropped a sharp 0.3 percent in September while their incomes, the fuel for future spending, managed only a small 0.2 percent gain.

That followed a report a day earlier that the U.S. economy shrank by 0.3 percent in the third quarter. The accepted definition of a recession is two straight quarters of a shrinking economy.

Closing out the worst October in 21 years but one of the best weeks ever, investors did some bargain shopping on Wall Street, snapping up stocks that have plunged in value. The Dow Jones industrial average gained nearly 145 points.

Meanwhile, the outgoing Bush administration sent signals to automakers and other industries hoping for government purchases of their stock that they probably won't qualify for the program.

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