Recession over? Maybe. Happy days here? Not yet.

The critics who want President Obama to fail are never going to admit that the stimulus package did any good. But for those who reside in a reality-based universe, here’s a bit of bright sky in a gloomy economic climate: the U.S. economy, based on gross domestic product (GDP), grew at a rate of 3.5 percent from July to September, the highest rate of growth in two years.

It was enough to lead some analysts to declare that the Great Recession has ended.

“Better than expected GDP is confirming that the Great Recession has ended,” said Kevin Flanagan, fixed-income strategist for Global Wealth Management at Morgan Stanley in Purchase, New York.
“The question going forward is, is this more of a statistical recovery or are we going to get some meaningful momentum on a sustained basis.”

Most of those analysts also say that the growth in GDP is largely attributable to actions taken by the federal government, including passing the stimulus package and the Fed’s dropping the interest rate to a super-low level.

Of course, most Americans don’t yet believe the recession has ended — and for good reason. Unemployment is stuck at 9.8 percent and could go higher. Some economists believe the actual rate of unemployment is already higher — around 18 percent if you count those too discouraged to look for work.

All that points to the need for more government spending to prevent another economic dip.

46 comments Add your comment

Peadawg

October 29th, 2009
11:12 am

“All that points to the need for more government spending”

typical….

Peadawg

October 29th, 2009
11:15 am

Weren’t you complaining about how far we were in debt during the Bush era?

Peadawg

October 29th, 2009
11:23 am

Oh that’s right…Obama paying for executives’ bonuses = Good

Did I get the jist of it?

jconservative

October 29th, 2009
11:33 am

“…some meaningful momentum on a sustained basis.”

You know this really says very little. Both “meaningful” & “sustained”,
in economucs, are like beauty, it is all in the eye of the beholder.

If 2 quarters of negative growth equal recession, does 2 quarters of positive growth equal recovery?

And the answer to this question says very little.

Sunshine and Thunder

October 29th, 2009
11:36 am

Cynthia:

You should Google “GDP growth during the Great Depression”. During the mid 1930’s it was double digit growth annually. This comes before unemployment peaked at 19% in 1938. So don’t be so quick to count your chickens. They may be getting the axe before you know it.

We may just have an FDR clone in the White House.

“Whom the market gods humble they first make proud”.

jconservative

October 29th, 2009
11:41 am

If I may quote VP Cheney from 2002 – “Reagan proved deficits don’t matter…”

So why is everyone so concerned about the deficit?

TnGelding

October 29th, 2009
11:43 am

I was with you until that last sentence. Let’s spend the stimulus already appropriated first before making that conclusion. At some point austerity has to kick in. Certainly the increase would have been less without the government spending. As I stated some time back the recession is over for everyone but the unemployed. I’d like to amend that to include government tax collectors. The reductions are so dramatic it makes me wonder if compliance has lapsed, as well.

TnGelding

October 29th, 2009
11:45 am

Sunshine and Thunder

October 29th, 2009
11:36 am

God, let’s hope so! With a little HST, JFK and Slick Willie thrown in.

TnGelding

October 29th, 2009
11:46 am

jconservative

October 29th, 2009
11:41 am

Because Bush proved they do!

Peadawg

October 29th, 2009
11:50 am

“Let’s clean up the mess from the previous 8 years.”

100% agreed. So STOP SPENDING!!!

TnGelding

October 29th, 2009
11:51 am

Peadawg

October 29th, 2009
11:15 am

If you really can’t understand the difference, then you’re hopeless. But I think you do and just want to pick a fight.

TnGelding

October 29th, 2009
11:55 am

Huckabee The Next POTUS 2012

October 29th, 2009
11:52 am

Carter was the most conservative president we’ve had since Hoover. I would think he would be one of your heroes.

TnGelding

October 29th, 2009
11:56 am

Peadawg

October 29th, 2009
11:50 am

Surely you can sdmit that without the govenment spending and lower interst rates GDP would not have grown at all.

Shananeeeeee Fananeeeeeeee

October 29th, 2009
11:59 am

Obama and his cronies want you to believe the recession is over but it is just another lie by his administration. How bout’ those unemployment rates Obammy? Double Digits in Georgia now. These guys promised 3 milllion jobs over a certain amount of time and have created 30,000. We will all be dead before 3 million, guarenteed. Get off Leno, off the golf course, and out of fundraisers every week and get to work. Change in 2010 and 2012, Change we are looking forward to.

jt

October 29th, 2009
12:20 pm

“All that points to the need for more government spending to prevent another economic dip.”

Give CT a break.

President Obama’s pen is hovering over a newspaper bailout.

TnGelding

October 29th, 2009
12:26 pm

Shananeeeeee Fananeeeeeeee

October 29th, 2009
11:59 am

I haven’t seen any numbers, but I’d bet he’s spending more time in the Oval Office than his predecessor. And he doesn’t go to bed with the chickens, thus more time for Leno, entertaining guests at the WH, etc.

TnGelding

October 29th, 2009
12:28 pm

jt

October 29th, 2009
12:20 pm

The newspapers have a bailout called instant online reporting.

peterg

October 29th, 2009
12:34 pm

Wow. How many trillions of dollars did the gov’t borrow and spend to get a few percentage points of growth. This is the equivalent of being excited about someone taking a hundred dollars from you and giving you five back.

Jimmy62

October 29th, 2009
12:40 pm

Those of us in reality, as you say, Cynthia, realize that almost half of that growth came from the Cash For Clunkers program. Now that all those people won’t be buying cars this quarter, we won’t see such growth.

Also it’s funny how early in the Bush years, the left harped on how it was a “jobless recovery” and took every stat as a sign that Bush sucks and we aren’t really recovering. Now that the left is running things, who cares if unemployment is still on the rise, you can point to the fake GDP growth and brag about Obama.

Those of us in the “reality-based universe” look at more than one factor, and don’t twist statistics to make Obama look better (or worse). We try to see the world as it actually is.

Ivan Cohen

October 29th, 2009
12:42 pm

For jconservative: Considering Reagan was getting his Presidential pension, his Governor’s pension and his pension as an actor, yeah, right deficits don’t matter as long as I’m getting my checks and can go yipee gi-yo on my ranch. It was said that World War II got America out of the Great Depression. So how come the war in Iraq didn’t pull America out of the recession? But Dick Cheney was still getting paid from his blind trust holdings in Haliburton. If there is going to be a movement to stop government spending, there should be a campaign to retrieve those jobs which got “outsourced” overseas. It does not take a rocket scientist to know why the jobs went there….cheap labor and no unions to contend with. Only in America is Conservatism synonymous with oppression. Conservatives generally want to maintain the status quo no matter who it hurts.

mike

October 29th, 2009
1:22 pm

And we’re just supposed to trust these Government “reports”?

How can they say we’re out of a recession when home foreclosures are surging still (see http://www.foreclosure.com) and auto repossessions are skyrocketing (see http://www.repofinder.com)?

I’ll trust my magic 8 ball over Government “reports”.

Jack

October 29th, 2009
1:35 pm

If Obama fails, it won’t be because of his critics: it’ll be because of his advisors and his Marxist vision for America.

Sunshine and Thunder

October 29th, 2009
1:54 pm

TNGelding

Yeah, let’s bring back FDR and make sure this turns into a depression. At least Obama is spending money that we don’t have instead of raising taxes and asking companies to collude to keep prices high

. TARP has very little to do with the recovery. The Federal Reserve has almost everything to do with it. The Fed has primed the system with 1.5 trillion in new money. That has artificially raised stock prices which has raised family asset values and given the consumer more confidence. That in turn has given some companies confindence to raise inventories (specifically car companies). We’ve had the ludicrous cash for clunkers program which only stole sales from the future and the first time homeowner’s tax credit which was so rife with fraud that a four year old claimed the credit.

We are meddling where we shouldn’t be in everybody’s business and telling people how much money they can make in a pitiful attempt at paying homage to populism. The democrats live and die by the class warfare battle cry. Sooner or later they always learn that the producers they steal from to buy votes from the leeches will stop producing.

Chris Broe

October 29th, 2009
2:06 pm

The 3.5% growth in the third quarter is based on a comparison from 2008’s 3rd quarter, which was so dismal, that it caused the worst financial crisis in our history, (if you don’t count the economic damage that the Milli Vanilli thing did to us in the nineties, man).

Thus we blindly stumble forward, with renewed credit, but little cash, as we buy the new LED Samsungs, the new Chevy’s and Fords, and of course, the recently-released boxed set of Milli and Vanilli’s unplugged rap recordings.

Growth is in the eye of the bailed-out, (and the deaf). Former entertainer Cheney is doing quite well, you know, as his Saudi Puppetmeisters have paid him well, and as he enjoys the uppermost security and finery and riches and everything, while our countrymen, the little guys, all flounder like so many lazy liberals in a Fox News expose. Oh, the Hume-hannity! When will the Born Again Birthers take pity on us?

I am calling for a boycott on the good-old-boy Fox network!! Who’s with me? LET’S DO IT!!!!!

Jklol Love Fox, and that cheeky monkey, Glenn Beck!

PS: BTW, Glenn Beck has been aping Rep. Alan Grayson who did the “Die Quickly” bit on the floor of the house a couple weeks ago. Alan Grayson did a whole piece on his website that Glenn Beck stole and hacked. It included Glenn mugging as Obama talked, with eye-rolling, facial distortions, and even teeth chattering, (to be honest, I couldn’t tell if there was any crotch grabbing or butt picking).

But Glenn Beck is an entertainer, so it’s OKAY! Get it?

Luckily, the American people have a four-second attention span so the momentum Beck gleaned from this will pass. Imagine a country run by entertainers, where credibility-measuring is considered heckling. Don’t imagine it, enjoy it cause we’re here.

You know, one of the things I lashed out about was the mugging that Dan Rather and Katie Courik did when they read the news. It makes me sick. Rather actually said this on the air in the seventies: “President Richard Nixon resigned today. Nanana booboo, we don’t have to see you. Tricky Dick is gone, ha ha. He was lifted from the white house by the presidential chopper, after he waved goodbye to the crowd of dopey well-wishers and probably-complicit family members, like his obnoxious wife and daughter. (Wink).”

This is not professional journalism, people. It’s certainly not news. It’s entertainment.

Jklol

fitzgerald

October 29th, 2009
2:10 pm

I wish the AJC would hurry up and charge for reading any and all articles on the internet. When this happens, Ms. Tucker will have no one reading her articles either in the print version or on the internet. The print circulation is dismal.

jconservative

October 29th, 2009
2:53 pm

TnGelding

October 29th, 2009
11:55 am
Huckabee The Next POTUS 2012

“Carter was the most conservative president we’ve had since Hoover. I would think he would be one of your heroes.”

Actually if you look at JUST THE LEGISLATION SIGNED, Clinton was the most conservative President since Lyndon Johnson. Most liberal?
Virtual tie between Nixon & Bush 43.

Joan

October 29th, 2009
2:56 pm

For those out of work that GDP figure is a big joke. It costs the taxpayer $20,000 for the government to actually put $4,000 into the system. So, I guess most of that stimulus is going to stimulate circle jerks in Washington. Somebody should tell the parasites that when they kill the host, they will all die.

Dr. Alan Phillips

October 29th, 2009
4:00 pm

Thanks to Cynthia Tucker’s piece and Catherine Rampell’s article, in Today’s NY Times,”U.S. Economy Started to Grow Again” in Third Quarter and for putting the numbers on that quarter in perspective.

In contrast to Catherine Rampell the AP Economics writer, Jeannine Versa wrote in her piece today that “the worst recession since the 1930’s has ended,” couple the AP observation with that of Christina Roemer’s quote about the end to unemployment, “this welcome milestone is just a step away,” and one can’t help but be confused.

Jeanine Versa, needs to tell the millions of unemployed that the recession has ended, start shopping and then duck for cover. Christina Roemer’s welcomed milestone of fuller employment just a step away, needs to be pegged to a date certain for the new and restored jobs she envisions. When banks start lending, companies start hiring, and people find jobs, then there will be cause for celebration. At this point we are not even close to recovery.

Only, in my limited reading hasCynthia Tucker of the AJC and Catherine Rampell of the New York Times gotten it right, “It will be months before job seekers feel the benefit,” It’s time for the media imaging to cease and true reporting like Rampell’s to be read.

Chris Broe

October 29th, 2009
4:16 pm

If the recession is over, then buy stocks now.

Of course, you must realize that the meaning of “The recession is over” has more bite than bark. More slobber than drool. and more scratch than itch.

What I’m trying to say is that the words have no meaning. recession? What is that? Two or more quarters of negative growth? What’s that mean? Compared to what? The recession is over? What the hell does that actually mean? 99% of people have no clue. They think they know. They can spout the common wisdom, (which is always retarded), about negative growth, but the reality is that if people fully understood the cyclical nature of the economy, and how we’re all really just spinning our wheels, going nowhere, like the new squirrel-powered GM cars, we’d all just sit around the campfire roasting marshmellows, playing the guitar, (and playing spin the bottle).

The whole thing is some sort of voter-coddling scam and I refuse to be a part of it.

The recession is over indeed.

Titus Pullo

October 29th, 2009
8:41 pm

GDP is a worthless metric. It is not Gross Domestic Product but Gross Spending Product. And govt spendng is counted. So say your the Federal Govt and run up a trillion dollar spending spree and pay for it by asking your friend Ben Bernanke at the Federal Reserve to print money out of thin air and fund your spending and also good old Ben is giving trillions (again printed out of thin air) to banks at Zero interest rates..wow wouldn’t you expect GDP…I mean GDS to grow at more than 3.5%? In fact this just shows how bad things really are if the govt can’t spend so much money and only grow spending 3.5%…

Lesson here is economies only grow due to market valued productivity..(say learning to build more things per day or doing more efficently and so on)…the productivity savings is then either consumed or invested in more attempts at increasing productivity (some work and some don’t but that is the beauty of the free market..bad companies don’t survive).

So for all the media…GDP isn’t really GDP and this palty increase is evidence that deficit spending and Keynsian astrology (opps I mean economics) doesn’t work. And don’t forget that we all have to pay for all this spending either with higher taxes or a devalued dollar..

Read the Road to Serfdom by Hayek..you might start to see the light.

Turd Ferguson

October 30th, 2009
7:55 am

Kindve like a drunk. When one hits rock bottom there is only one way to go and that it up. I honestly dont believe Obobo had much to do with it nor would a Republican President. Economies are cyclical in nature.

Tall

October 30th, 2009
8:20 am

Titus….good comments. Your observation of the “GSP” is correct.
One of the best ways to see if the economy is really picking up is to examine the sales tax collections of the respective states. Those state sales taxes reflect money being spent on the street for every retail item that is taxable. Goverment spending and money spent on goverment items…lottery tickets, postage, etc..is not included. When tax receipts start to increase, you know that there is more money in the hands of everyone.

The statistics Ms. Tucker cites are just a sound bite. What accounted for the growth? What sectors saw demand growth? Unfortunately, most of the demand came for new cars purchased under the cash for clunkers program. In effect, the Federal government lent you your own money back to stimulate the economy. Once this binge dies down, we won’t see much improvement. But, we will be further in debt to our overseas creditors.

Jack

October 30th, 2009
9:03 am

“…those too discouraged to look for work” are those not prepared for the workplace or either don’t want to get their hands dirty.

booger

October 30th, 2009
10:18 am

Meanwhile the worldwide recovery of industrial countries is in inverse proportion to the amount spent on stimulus. France and Germany spent the least. France and Germany are seeing the fastest growth. The president of France warned Obama that the size of the US proposed stimulus would slow down recovery but Obama and company saw the potential of hugh political payback, economy be damned.

oldtimer

October 30th, 2009
11:09 am

Since the AP has found mistaken figures for the jobs created,(Louisville contractor who claimed he created 4 million jobs.HA) I do not expect for a minute the economic recovery will be correct.

The Austrian Brotherhood

October 30th, 2009
12:53 pm

Just to make it loud and clear – CYNTHIA TUCKER HAS JUMPED THE SHARK.

What a densely ignorant beltway babbling maroon she is. Worse than worthless at this point. But it’s still satisfying to read certain worthy posts like that of Titus Pullo. And it’s fun to insult superficial sindy.

So carry on.

booger

October 30th, 2009
12:54 pm

Just watched Biden [remember him?] on CNBC declare 650,000 jobs created or saved due to stimulus plan. Of course the data on how this number was arrived at is not currently available. Commentators on the show all agreed that any number is a guess as no one ever set a formula for keeping score.

So we really do not and will not know how this thing worked. What we do know is this:
-Obama and Pelosi said if we cramed through the stimulus package on an emergency basis unemployment would be held to 8.8%. We are now at 9.8% and growing.
-2.7million jobs have been lost since the stimulus package was passed.
-only 40% of the stimulus money has been spent and some are clamoring for more. This includes Cynthia.
-The industralized countries who spent the least on stimulus are the first to show significant recovery. Those who spent the most [US and Great Britian] are experiencing the slowest recovery.
-California, who has had one of the more significant growth in jobs says this growth has cost over $500,000 per job in stimulus money.

Now I know Cynthia will declare this thing a success as long as Obama says it is, but for those of you who can think for yourself, look at the evidence.

letroy williams

October 30th, 2009
2:36 pm

what ever the reason or how it was done, are we moving in the right direction? We will not know for awhile yet. Ask yourself, what would you have done nine months ago when this country was in a tail spin and going to crash.

Tray

October 30th, 2009
3:58 pm

MORE government spending?? Did you actually say that Cynthia?? And you won a Pulitzer??

How about you give them all your money and let them spend it on other people. But wait, you wouldn’t go for that, would you? Would you live at the bare minimum to make sure others were ok? I HIGHLY doubt it!

One question Cynthia-where would this money you want to spend come from, considering the U.S. is broke and borrowing money!

No where did you mention the fact that because Obama and Democrats borrowed billions, our dollar now is losing value at the fastest rate it EVER has!

You also forgot to mention that CEO pay was just stripped by 90%, BUT, the CEO’s of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (both ex-democrat politicians) were allowed to keep their FULL BONUSES!! They received bailout funds too…oh, but they’re Democrats, so we gotta hook a brutha up!!

Yeah…Really smart there…

Joan

October 30th, 2009
4:46 pm

When Obama says something, the American public is immediately thinking “the Emperor’s New Clothes”. He takes credit for the recession being over one day, and the stock market drops over 200 points the next. I don’t hear him taking any credit for the market collapse. But he should. As should Congress who know nothing at all about economics.

Chester Felds

October 30th, 2009
6:53 pm

The recession is over! The government told us so. They wouldn’t lie to us. Just look at Nancy P.’s hair. Could she afford to do such a doo in such doo doo as we’ve had in the last nine months? Of course not. The worst is over.

If anyone says the second great depression is over, they’re lying. If they say they haven’t a job and are homeless, it’s they’re own fault for not having an IRA that was depression proof. Gee, why do these people whine?

Cyth has once again told us what we need to know. It’s up to us to fix the problem that she has pointed out. Next time you see a homeless person and it’s rained, splash him with your car. He’ll thank you for the free shower.

Look up on google obama, japanese and verb. Guess what you’ll find?

TheOne

October 31st, 2009
7:14 am

“All that points to the need for more government spending to prevent another economic dip.”

Are you f-ing kidding me?

Cynthia, I typically do not agree with any of your opinions but come on, this one has got to take the cake. Did you really say that? Is this coming from the same person who blames everything on Bush because of the spending that occurred during his administration? Can you spell H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-T-E??? Why is spending by a Republican administration the next best thing to devil worship, but spending by a Democratic one has saved the country?

First of all, only a small fraction of the stimulus money has been spent, so you can’t attribute the recession being over because of that. Secondly, part of what has helped the recession end is CONSUMER SPENDING!!!!! If you get outside of your tortoise shell, consumer spending accounts for the majority of the economy; therefore, giving more of the money to consumers is what will help the economy, not the government spending more of OUR MONEY.

Surely you are not stupid enough to think that the way out of this is by the government spending more money. Please say it isn’t so.

By the way, history has shown that even when a recession has ended, unemployment doesn’t improve right away. Usually unemployment reduction is 6 months or more behind a recession ending.

TheOne's economics teacher

November 1st, 2009
12:10 am

After all that I tried to teach him, and he still doesn’t know who John Maynard Keynes is. :roll:

TheOne

November 1st, 2009
8:15 am

Huh? Please don’t say that you actually think government needs to spend more to get us out of the recession.

Brianna

November 1st, 2009
5:45 pm

“the Fed’s dropping the interest rate to a super-low level.”

Right now the interest rate is at 0%. That means there is nowhere else to go but up. The gains quoted in this blog are entirely statistical, which cannot last because they were created with utterly unsustainable policies.

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