With leverage no longer propping up demand, many analysts point to signs that we are either currently in, or are approaching a deflationary period, with some expecting this period to last up to 12 to 18 months (see Investment News article). Gary Shilling, who has written a couple of books on the topic of deflation, believes the period of deflation could be much longer, on the order of 5-10 years. In addition to providing a signal of lower consumer spending, and subsequently lower GDP, deflation also increases the impact of debt in real terms for both corporations and consumers. As for investment plays, analysts recommend looking at utilities, agricultural, and high-quality and in-demand consumer staples, in edition to U.S. Treasury bonds and good old fashion cash.