US 'in danger of economic relapse' -11 Jan 10

Al Jazeera English
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Senior economists in the United States have warned that the country could be in danger of falling into an economic relapse, which could lead to another recession.

The economists say there is a 25 to 40 per cent chance of a 2010 crisis, a phenomena they call a "double dip recession".

The warning comes as recent figures show that 85,000 more Americans were unemployed last month, a figure most economic forecasters did not predict.

Analysts say the figures represent worrying news for the administration of Barack Obama, the US president, who is struggling to halt the increasing number of lost jobs.

Christina Romer, the administration's top economic adviser, has said she still believes jobs will return in a few months, but she says the government is looking at other options to energize the economy.

To help that effort, the US House of Representatives has passed a bill that would commit $155bn for construction projects and extensions of unemployment benefits.

However, much of the money needed for such projects will have to be borrowed and leaders of the country's Republican party say the Obama administration has already spent too much.

Al Jazeera's Patty Culhane reports from Washington, DC.

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