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So the Recession is Over?

This morning I noticed on Yahoo‘s front page that “Worst recession since 1930s hits end.” Let’s just say I’m still skeptical. Unemployment still hovers at 9.9% and that just doesn’t feel like a party. The actual article to which the link refers contains the more subdued headline “Economy growing but recovery could be at risk.” I thought so.

Look, the GDP has grown 3.5% this quarter. That’s good news. According to a New York Times article, this growth rate is on par with average annual growth rate that the U.S. has enjoyed for the last 80 years. Nice. But before we get too excited, this increase in consumer spending (a major component of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product) is driven by the exorbitant expenditure on government programs. And as soon as such programs as Clash for Clunkers end (and they will eventually), economists predict that this recovery may not last.

Basically, the economy grew by 3.5%… but in the long term, it may or may not matter. Does a current quarterly increase in consumer spending mean that consumer spending has actually increased for good? It’s just too early to say.

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