The XX Factor

Recession Briefing 6.02

Could the plummeting economy be contributing to expanding waistlines? Something is: new data shows that in the past year the number of Americans considered obese has jumped by 1.7 percent. ( Newsweek )

Spend wisely now and you’ll save a bundle over what things will cost once the recession lifts. Here are 10 things to buy now - before they get more expensive . ( Time )

Fresh signs emerged Monday that the recession is letting up.  “What looked like a flicker of light at the end of the tunnel is now starting to look like a beacon,” said Richard Yamarone, economist at Argus Research. ( Associated Press )

The unemployment rate in the European Union pushed higher in April to 9.2 percent , indicating that nascent signs of economic recovery had yet to be felt in the continent’s labor market. ( New York Times )

Confidence in the economy is building , even though recovery still seems to be far off. ( Washington Post )

Incomes in the U.S. rose for the first time in four months in April, increasing by 0.5 percent. Much of the increase was due to lower taxes and benefits from government stimulus payments. ( Financial Times )

Hammered by the recession, New York State is closing 10 minimum- and medium-security prison facilities - prompting a struggle with correctional officers unions . Other states are having similar issues as they try to close prisons.  ( )

“If people who hang onto their jobs or get laid off and get a new one can’t count on their earnings growing, they’re going to keep being thrifty. And without a real rebound in consumer spending, it’s unlikely we’ll have a strong economic recovery.” ( CNN/Money )

A new site collects business cards and stories of positive change from people who have recently been laid off . ( )

NASA is set to retire the space shuttle at the end of next year, but its replacement, the Constellation system, could be delayed by recession-related budget cuts. ( Forbes )