Washington Post (Nov 26, 2007): "Widespread expectations of a recession could be self-fulfilling because of how financial markets and mainstream America are interconnected. If investors are sufficiently convinced a recession is ahead, they would be reluctant to lend money to businesses that want to expand, making it so."
Here are the expectations:
Google Trends: term "recession" in searches and news (U.S).
Blogpulse: term "recession" in consumer-generated media (blogs, newsgroups)
NY Times (Dec 4, 2007): "Growth in advertising spending in the United States is slowing considerably, according to several forecasters whose predictions are closely followed. But they believe the continuing strength of ad spending online — as well as the stimulative effects of the elections and the Summer Olympics — should keep the industry from suffering a recession in 2008."
Telegraph (Dec 15, 2007): "Morgan Stanley has issued a full recession alert for the US economy, warning of a sharp slowdown in business investment and a "perfect storm" for consumers as the housing slump spreads."
Time to dust off the trusty chart showing how advertising during recession is good for business in the long run:
The results of a McGraw-Hill research that showed companies advertising during the 1981-82 recession averaged higher sales growth (source).