Maybe Joe Biden just got his calendar wrong. The National Bureau of Economic Research has declared that the “Great Recession” ended in June 2009 after an eighteen-month negative span, the longest since World War II. That shouldn’t come as a great shock to anyone following GDP numbers, which started turning positive in the third quarter of 2009, the very definition of an end to a recession. However, this also means that another recession won’t technically be a double-dip, but instead a brand-new recession that will entirely belong to the current administration:
The problem isn’t that we are still in a recession, but that we haven’t had much of a recovery. The CNBC hosts note that the NBER warns that most recoveries start with sub-par growth, but we’re more than a year out from the end of the Great Recession and growth is slowing, not accelerating. Even Reuters expects to see less growth in 2011 (2.4%) than they predict in 2010 (2.7%), and neither year will have the kind of growth that creates large numbers of new jobs.
Regardless of the lack of negative numbers, the economy doesn’t have the feel of a recovery, with dropping demand and high unemployment. It has the feel of stagnation at poor levels of a similar kind to the 1970s, only without the inflation. It won’t take much to push the economy back into recession, and if that happens, Barack Obama and his economic policies will get all of the blame.