It‘s Wednesday after­noon at this mall in Garden City, New York and you could play catch in the parking lot. A slow shop­ping center is hardly con­clu­sive evi­dence of a weak economy, but some experts say it‘s no sur­prise given other signs of lack­luster activity. The housing market remains in the cellar. Sales are down at the nation‘s go-​​to store. And, job growth is still far too slow to put mil­lions of Amer­i­cans back to work. Econ­o­mist Ed Yardeni also points to the recent increase in weekly job­less claims and weak­ness in the auto sector because of parts short­ages in Japan.

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