OH, MAKE SURE TO READ THE FINE PRINT – AT 10:56 A.M. ET: Sometimes you just have go go down pretty far in a story before it makes sense. This, from The New York Times. The headline reads, "The Recession Has (Officially) Ended:
The recession officially ended in June 2009, according to the Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research, the official arbiter of such dates.
As the great Mr. Carson used to say, "I did not know that."
As many economists had expected, this official end date makes the most recent downturn the longest since World War II. This recent recession, having begun in December 2007, lasted 18 months. Until now the longest postwar recessions were those of 1973-5 and 1981-2, which each lasted 16 months.
Recession and expansion dates are based on various economic indicators, including gross domestic product, income, employment, industrial production and wholesale-retail sales. The Business Cycle Dating Committee typically waits to declare that the economy has turned until well after the fact, when it has a longer track record of economic data to confirm a new trend.
And now for that fine print:
The bureau took care to note that the recession, by definition, meant only the period until the economy reached its low point — not a return to its previous vigor.
Maybe this committee might find some useful work. Even if the recession technically ended more than a year ago, nobody in the real world thinks so. The economy is the central issue in this campaign, and most knowledgeable people I speak with believe it will be in the doldrums for years to come, no matter what we do.
Change we can believe in.
September 20, 2010