Commentary As 2007 came to an end, the prospects of a recession had increased to the point that such an outcome appeared plausible. Whether the economy actually tilts into a recession depends on a number of factors, ranging from continued economic stimulus from abroad to surprising resiliency on the consumer front. Unfortunately, neither of these factors are givens, especially with consumers struggling with a number of pressures on household budgets and confidence levels. Thus, the situation will be somewhat precarious, with players on all sides of the market taking a defensive posture. The absence of any clear answers is likely to do little to appease the market and may actually create more uncertainty.