The talk of Twitter this morning among money types is the recession. It's over. In fact, it's been over since June 2009, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research:
Here's the NBER's explanation in pointy-head speak:
The committee determined that a trough in business activity occurred in the U.S. economy in June 2009. The trough marks the end of the recession that began in December 2007 and the beginning of an expansion. The recession lasted 18 months, which makes it the longest of any recession since World War II. Previously the longest postwar recessions were those of 1973-75 and 1981-82, both of which lasted 16 months.
In determining that a trough occurred in June 2009, the committee did not conclude that economic conditions since that month have been favorable or that the economy has returned to operating at normal capacity. Rather, the committee determined only that the recession ended and a recovery began in that month.
The committee went on to say that it would consider any further decline in economic activity beyond June 2009 its own recession. Oh goody.
Honestly, it is good to hear this. Like a pendulum, we tend to be overly optimistic in boom times and overly pessimistic once the party is over. Maybe this news will give some the confidence to spend just a little, to invest just a little, to live a little.
Then again, if your house value is down, your income hasn't risen, and your brother-in-law is out of work again, it's hard to believe the economy has been growing, even slowly.
For extra credit, here's how the NBER defines a recession:
A recession is a period of falling economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales. The trough marks the end of the declining phase and the start of the rising phase of the business cycle. Economic activity is typically below normal in the early stages of an expansion, and it sometimes remains so well into the expansion.
Don't we know it.