The Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research, which makes the official determinations of when recessions start and end, announced today that the recession that began in December 2007 ended in June 2009.
In other words, the widespread decline in economic activity that defines a recession ended over a year ago, and the expansion of economic activity that defines a recovery began. But as the committee was quick to note, “economic activity is typically below normal in the early stages of an expansion, and it sometimes remains so well into the expansion.” That’s certainly true this time. We expect the unemployment rate to stay high and the poverty rate to continue to rise in the next few years.
For a review of just how bad the past recession was — and how monetary and fiscal policy kept it from being even worse — check out our chart book.