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Republican Recession Watch: Clearly, This Is Good For John McCain

The economy is getting worse.

The country’s economic health deteriorated further in the early spring as shoppers buckled under the strains of the housing and credit debacles and a weaker employment climate.

Manufacturers and others businesses, meanwhile, were walloped by zooming prices for energy and other raw materials. However, their ability to jack up retail prices to customers was mixed, with some companies restrained by competitive pressures, according to the Federal Reserve’s new snapshot of nationwide economic conditions released Wednesday.

“Economic conditions have weakened,” the Fed report stated.

Food and energy prices are going up.

Consumer prices pushed higher last month as increases in energy, food and airline tickets overwhelmed the biggest drop in clothing prices in nearly a decade.

The Labor Department reported Wednesday that consumer prices rose 0.3 percent in March after being unchanged in February.

Gas hit a new high (and it isn't summer yet)

Oil prices rose to new heights Tuesday, surging to almost $114 a barrel after the U.S. dollar fell and worries mounted about the global oil supply.

A report from the International Energy Agency said Russian oil production dropped this year for the first time in a decade. Crude oil shipments along one U.S. pipeline were said to be moving below capacity. And Italy's ENI reported a 5,000 barrel per day reduction in production at one of its facilities in Nigeria.

This is clearly the sort of environment where we should elect yet another Republican who doesn't know a thing about economics and surrounds himself with believers in supply side economics that don't work.