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The U.S. economy has registered five consecutive quarters of economic growth since the recession ended, yet there is a great deal of concern about the outlook for 2011. The 2.9% average increase in real GDP over these five quarters pales in comparison with recoveries of the post-war period prior to 1990. One major factor in this subpar economic recovery is the contraction of bank credit, which has a strong positive correlation with gross domestic purchases.

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