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The next worst thing to recession

So the recession officially ended in June 2009. That is to say, things stopped getting worse and started getting better more than a year ago. The problem is that they're not getting better very fast. Fifteen months later, recovery looks a lot more like the lowest point of the recession than anything we'd consider normal:


That's the problem we're facing right now. David Leonhardt calls it "the long slog." It's not a recession, but it's the next worst thing.

By Ezra Klein  | September 20, 2010; 4:04 PM ET
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If the recession ended in June 2009, does that mean that all of the people who opposed "recession-ending" spending after June 2009 were correct in their assessments? That is, the massive federal spending which took place after the end of the recession was, in fact, not a factor in ending the already-ended recession.

While I'd bet the big spenders will continue to claim that their spending help to end the already-ended recession, my real concern is that the spending establishment -- the progressive social-democrat fringe which favors welfare over workforce -- really has no idea how to deal with the "slog".

Posted by: rmgregory | September 20, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

So, the recession was already over before the Democrats began stimulating us into a methamphetamine OD?

Posted by: bgmma50 | September 20, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

They really have to re-do the definition for recession.

Posted by: RichardHSerlin | September 20, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

The NBER definition of "recession" -- starts when the economy begins getting worse, ends when it starts getting better -- is even more out of sync with commonly accepted reality than usual. When recessions are short, it's not so bad, but with long ones it's just a mess. If NBER had been on the job during the 30s, it would have declared the Depression over sometime in late '34 or early '35.

An alternative way of looking at things would be to call the economy out of recession when employment and GDP returned to pre-recession levels, but even that is a little optimistic.

Posted by: paul314 | September 20, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

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