Report: Recession ended in June '09
And it really was the worst downturn since World War II, the National Bureau of Economic Research says. But the organization cautions that recoveries are often slow.
You could probably be forgiven for saying you missed this event, but the recession that began in December 2007 ended -- in June 2009.
That's the word today from the National Bureau of Economic Research, which dates recessions.
2007-09 recession was the longest since World War II. It took the top spot from the severe recessions of 1974-75 and 1981-82, both of which lasted 16 months.
But the NBER was careful to say that the end of the recession does not mean happy days are here again. "Economic activity is typically below normal in the early stages of an expansion," the NBER's statement said, "and it sometimes remains so well into the expansion."
The NBER's Business Cycle Dating Committee also decided there's no chance of a double-dip recession. That's the idea that an upturn might not be strong enough to be a recovery and that a subsequent downturn would simply be part of the original recession.
The worry for the past few months has been that the slowdown that set in during the mid-to-late spring was the start of the recession taking over again.
Take that idea off the table, the NBER said. Any future downturn -- even one that starts now or in the next few months -- will be a new recession. The reason: "The length and strength of the recovery to date."
Many economists had concluded long ago the 2007 recession ended in mid-2009. Investors in U.S. stocks had come to a similar conclusion. By the end of June 2009, the Dow Jones industrials ($INDU) were up 29% from their low on March 9, when the market bottomed.
The Dow was up 111 points this morning to 10,719. That's up nearly 64% from the 2009 bottom.
But while the recession has ended, the recovery has been extremely difficult. The official U.S. unemployment rate was 9.6% in August.
A second measure that includes people who have given up looking for jobs or have taken part-time work is at nearly 17%.
Homebuilding has basically collapsed, and home prices are down sharply from their peaks in 2005 and 2006. A National Association of Home Builders survey released today shows that few builders are optimistic. Retail sales have been flat to modestly higher, at best.
This isn't so different from the 1981-82 recession. The unemployment rate was 10.8% when the NBER says that recession ended, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate wouldn't fall below 10% until July 1983.
So why did the NBER wait so long? The delay is partly because the NBER bases its dates on a number of indicators, including gross domestic product, income, employment, industrial production and wholesale-retail sales.
In addition, the organization typically waits for all the revisions to the indicators it watches most closely. The more recent revisions they were looking for came in July and August.
The NBER's imprimatur provides a generally agreed-upon time line to researchers trying to understand the causes and effects of the downturn.
Copyright © 2013 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Quotes are real-time for NASDAQ, NYSE and AMEX. See delay times for other exchanges.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Thomson Reuters (click for restrictions). Real-time quotes provided by BATS Exchange. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Interactive Data Real-Time Services. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by SIX Financial Information.
[BRIEFING.COM] The S&P 500 ended this week with a bang, roaring to a new all-time high on the back of stronger-than-expected economic data, influential leadership, and an ongoing appreciation for the Fed's monetary policy support.
The bullish bias was evident in premarket action as the S&P futures pointed to a higher start without the benefit of any definitive news catalyst. Stocks indeed benefited from a blast of buying interest at the opening bell on this ... More
More Market News
|There’s a problem getting this information right now. Please try again later.|
LATEST MARKET DISPATCHES
- No more Dispatches; here's where to find market news
The Market Dispatches column has been discontinued. Here's where to find the latest stock and business news on MSN Money, and the latest from market writer Charley Blaine.
- Dow falls 59 as late-day gloom kills a rally
- Stocks held back by fiscal-cliff worries
- Stocks suffer worst weekly loss in 5 months
- Dow off 121 as post-election swoon continues
- Dow slumps 313 after Obama's re-election
- Dow jumps 133 as Americans head to the polls
All hail the bull market, which ended the week with a big rally. But it also is starting to look a little like 1987, which suffered an epic blow-out.