Bonddad: It’s a Recession that Won’t End Soon

Aug 11, 2008: 10:56 AM CST

Hat tip to Hale Stewart of the Bonddad Blog for his article published on the Huffington Post entitled “Yes, it is a Recession [and] No, it Won’t End Soon,” which discusses several points about the economy worth considering.

I strongly recommend reading the full article (at either of its locations), but I did want to highlight your attention to a few major points:

“In other words, using one statistic to describe a system as complex as the US economy is pointless. What we’re really looking for is a fairly widespread decline in activity that lasts a fairly long time.”

Meaning, the classic (or popular) definition of a recession is two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth, which clearly has not occurred.  Hale provides you two definitions from the National Bureau of Economic Research which deepen and expand the classic definition to include more specifics.

Hale then breaks the four components followed by the NBER, which include the following:

1.  Personal Income (less government payments such as the economic stimulus checks)
2.  Employment
3.  Industrial Production
4.  Volume of Sales in different sectors

He then provides detailed charts from various sources that underscore the points and show the current trends (weakening across all measures) and provides a bit of a summary for you to draw your own conclusions.

Take time to make yourself aware of the data and what it might mean for the broader economy now and in the near future.

(Bonus:  You may also view the contributions Mr. Stewart has made to the Huffington Post, all of which touch on broader economic themes and political considerations at the “Hale Stewart Bio” link here).

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