The XX Factor

Recession Briefing 6.23

Barely half of Americans are now confident that President Obama’s $787 billion stimulus measure will boost the economy , according to a new poll. ( Washington Post )

Lines at soup kitchens are growing across the U.S. as they cater to a growing number of families struggling to make ends meet. ( Guardian )

Shelters are struggling to house the increasing numbers of pets being abandoned by cash-strapped owners. ( CBS News/Early Show )

Many smokers are too stressed by the hard economic times to attempt to give up their habit , a new study suggests. ( BBC )

With the recession making it tough to win new clients, small businesses are stretching their resources to keep loyal customers. ( Wall Street Journal )

The world economy is headed into an era of slower growth, according to a World Bank report , with developing nations bearing the brunt of a stubborn credit crunch. ( Washington Post )

“It’s dangerous to assume that what’s bad for the chains is good for the mom-and-pops,” writes Jonathan Weber. “In this economy, a store closure is nothing to cheer about.” ( The Big Money )

The nation’s foreclosure crisis - once largely confined to only a few corners of the country - is spreading to new areas as the economy teeters .( USA Today )

In a new survey by the Pew Research Center,  76 percent of Americans said they have cut back on vacation spending and eating at restaurants or have delayed buying a car or major home items. ( Washington Post /Small Change )

Michigan has the highest unemployment rate of any state at 14.1 percent, a distinction the state has held for 25 of the last 26 months. Check out this map showing how hard various states have been affected by job loss. ( Huffington Post )