Yep. That’s right. A group of economic forecasters are projecting that we’ll see growth in the next quarter, so the recession is technically over. And hey, we can all be thankful for that.
However, the pain will linger for years to come.
The problem is that all of the lagging indicators of true economic health (rising employment, wages, spending, etc.) probably won’t start turning around until sometime next year…and even then it’s going to take a while for things to get back to normal.
The association is expecting the nation’s inflation-adjusted Gross Domestic Product will grow at a rate of roughly 3 percent in the second half of this year. That’s after a sharp 6.4 percent contraction in the first quarter and a 0.7 percent drop in the second quarter.
The association also said the three-year downturn in the housing market appears close to coming to an end, with growth expected next year.
While the unemployment rate is forecast to rise to 10 percent in the first quarter, it is expected to slip to 9.5 percent by the end of 2010.
“The good news is that this deep and long recession appears to be over and, with improving credit markets, the U.S. economy can return to solid growth next year without worry about rising inflation,” Lynn Reaser, the association’s president-elect, said in a release.
And to the point about lagging indicators…here’s a sobering fact about unemployment…
Fewer than 8 percent of the panelists expect lost jobs will be regained before 2012.
If Obama doesn’t actually create a job in the positive direction, that could become a political hot potato for the 2012 election. And, realistically, jobs and spending will probably be the two issues on the GOP’s dart board anyway.
More as it develops…