Feel better now?
According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, which decides such things, the Great Recession is over, and in fact ended back in June 2009.
“The trough marks the end of the recession that began in December 2007 and the beginning of an expansion,” the NBER notes. “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.”
As the bureau noted, “the committee did not conclude that economic conditions since (June 2009) have been favorable or that the economy has returned to operating at normal capacity.” Put another way, it’s merely when the beating finally stopped.
The chart to the right, depicting industrial production of consumer goods, illustrates that trough pretty dramatically. The chart below, of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, tells much the same story, with the indicator bottoming out in March 2009 at roughly 6600 before recovering to current levels.
Unfortunately, while the stock market has recovered a good portion of its loss, the job base has not, as our final chart below demonstrates. Job losses, typically a lagging indicator, didn’t begin to pick up steam until May 2008 and continued to accelerate well into 2009. And while the overall economy has recovered in fits and starts since then, it’s still hard to see that improvement in the job numbers.