1. Despite the sluggish recovery in the economy, XYZ posted better-than-expected results.
  2. Despite the sluggish recovery of the economy, XYZ posted better-than-expected results.

Which prepostion is the best choice? Is the choice between in and of dependant on the context?

  • I bet for of.......1's nuance is different. – Kentaro Tomono Jan 1 at 8:04

Between the two sentences you provide, I would choose of as the more common preposition.

Google Books NGram Viewer supports this:

recovery economy preposition

You could also use one of the following:

Despite a sluggish economical recovery, XYZ posted better-than-expected results.
Despite a slowly recovering economy, XYZ posted better-than-expected results.

In both variations, a preposition isn't needed at all.

However, another look at Google Books NGram Viewer shows that recovery of the economy still seems to be the most common:

recovering economy

  • Do you feel any subtle differences? – Mike Philip Jan 1 at 9:32
  • 1
    @MikePhilip In general, no. It's just whichever sounds better. But if I had to give word associations: (1) recovering economy implies something that's ongoing; (2) in economical recovery, there's a hint of something inexpensive, because that's one of the senses of economical; (3) in could imply it's a recovery that's happening inside the economy; (4) of could imply a recovery belonging to the economy. – Jason Bassford Jan 1 at 10:21

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