Worst cardboard-box recession since 2008 could be a sign of broader economic weakness

For many months now, a debate has been raging among experts whether the US economy is facing a recession, following the Federal Reserve’s steepest interest-rate increases in four decades.

And they have used all kinds of gauges – from job-market numbers to the shape of the bond-yield curve – to argue in support of and against predictions for a potential downturn.

But a rather offbeat indicator has been signaling a level of economic weakness not seen since the global financial crisis of 2008-2009 – and that’s the shipments of cardboard boxes.

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