The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- There are two views on the softening economic data that began in April and continues unabated. The majority view is that the U.S. (and world) is in a "soft patch," similar to the one that occurred last summer. The disasters in Japan have caused supply-chain disruptions, blamed, along with $4-per-gallon gasoline, for the economic slowdown. The view is, now that the supply disruptions are ending and gasoline prices are on the decline, consumption will expand, thus ending the soft patch.
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