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Media Advisory

Office of News and Information
Johns Hopkins University
3003 N. Charles Street, Suite 100
Baltimore, Maryland 21218-3843
Phone: (410) 516-7160 | Fax (410) 516-5251

September 13, 2001
CONTACT: Glenn Small

Media Advisory
Re: Consumer Confidence likely to drop as recession looms

Johns Hopkins University economist Chris Carroll says the terrorist attacks on the United States could easily be the "last straw" that leads the economy into an official recession, much like what happened after consumer confidence and spending dropped after the 1990 invasion of Kuwait by Iraq.

Consumer confidence really didn't recover from that event until well after the recession of the early 1990s ended, said Carroll, an expert on consumer confidence who has published research on the relationship between confidence and economic forecasting in the American Economic Review and other top economics journals. His research in this area stems from his former job as a staff economist at the Federal Reserve Board.

"Things were in a fragile state," Carroll continued. "The only thing that was still going strong and keeping the economy out of recession was consumer spending and if this converts into a big drop in consumer sentiment and drop in consumer spending, I think that could easily be the last straw."

"Up until now, I was an optimist on whether we would have an official recession," Carroll said. "But I think I'm not an optimist anymore."

Carroll, who has appeared on such shows as ABC News' Nightline and The Diane Rehm Show, is available for media interviews. You may e-mail him at: ccarroll@jhu.edu, or call him at 410-516-7602. If you have trouble reaching him, please contact Glenn Small at the above number.

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