By RICK SMITH, Local Tech Wire editor

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Continuing bleak news about the U.S. economy with report after report showing little or no growth has many people talking about a “double dip” recession rather than a recovery.

More bad news could come Friday when the federal government releases unemployment figures for August. Will joblessness head to double digits? And could real unemployment – which is based on frustrated people who have given up looking for work or at not part of the work force – inch toward 20 percent?

The U.S. GDP is struggling to maintain any growth at all, the most recently quarter having been downgraded to 1.6 percent.

In an attempt to provide a better perspective about what is happening across the economy and what is likely to happen in the future, LTW and reach out to three prominent economists and business experts at Duke University, N.C. State and East Carolina.

They shared many similar thoughts – few of which are positive.

that the U.S. could repeat the 1936 debacle when attempts to escape the Great Depression faltered.

the economy has “downshifted” and sees ”puny growth.”

about the strength of the recovery but is even more worried about long-term problems, especially in public policy.

The consensus of the three? Tough times now, tough times ahead.

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