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The government came close Thursday to admitting the economy is in recession, as its key economic gauge remained below the boom-or-bust line of 50 percent for the seventh straight month in July.

The index of coincident indicators, which measures the current state of the economy, slumped to 12.5 percent in July after a revised 36.4 percent figure for June, with only one component indicator showing a positive move, the Cabinet Office said in a preliminary report.

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