The U.S. economy, which has been slogging through a long, slow, tepid recovery for years following the Great Recession of 2007-2009, showed several positive signs this week, including higher-than-expected jobs numbers and GDP growth.
The government shutdown that began Monday night and is now in its fourth full day means that lots of official data collection, analysis and reporting that happens each month has now stopped. This includes the monthly jobs reports issued by the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Negotiations between President Obama and the Republican-led House of Representatives over the "fiscal cliff" are heating up. Some economists believe if a compromise isn't made by December 31 of this year, the U.S. economy could fall back into recession.
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