Marketplace Scratch Pad

Zandi: the Great Recession … is coming to an end

Paddy Hirsch Jul 23, 2009

With the Dow up 188 points and finishing in the 9000s, Marketplace’s Jeremy Hobson did a quick-and-dirty straw poll of economists.

Mark Zandi, of Moody’s
The Great Recession, the worst downturn since the 1930s Depression, is coming to an end.

Peter Morici, of the University of Maryland:
It’s the beginning of the recovery, analysts are uncovering prospects for profits across the board.

Perhaps Peter and Mark were supping from the bottles being uncorked down on Wall Street today. They do know unemployment is at 9.5% nationally, and rising? They do read ratings agency stats that predict rising corporate defaults? They have seen the data on both commercial and residential real estate that indicate another crunch around the corner? Guys, economics is the dismal science, remember!

But “coming to an end” does not mean ended, I guess. The way Nouriel Roubini put it on Monday, in an interview with Nightly Business Report, the ending of this recession will be long, slow and painful.

In my view the recession is going to continue through the end of the year. It’s not over yet, and while potential growth rate for the U.S. economy is 3 percent, I expect that the growth rate of the economy is going to be very anemic, below trend, then on 1 percent for the next two years.

Now that’s my kind of economist.

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