Notes: The Commerce Department reported last week that the economy grew at only 0.2 percent annual rate during the second quarter. This figure -- the gross domestic product -- was the slowest pace in eight years and was down for the 0.7 percent pace originally estimated. However, there were two positive signs. First, consumer spending was more than originally estimated. Second, the Commerce Department report said that business eliminated $38.4 billion in inventories during the second quarter which was a faster rate than in the first quarter. Economists interpreted this as a positive sign as consumer spending coupled with reduced inventories such ramp up production in the manufacturing sector to fill new inventory orders. Looking past dry statistics, however, people are being laid off from their jobs by businesses cutting costs. They're likely finding that bill collectors aren't interested national economic reports. 09.02.01