Is the Recession Still On?

Yes, by my definition of a recession:

  • two or more consecutive quarters in which real GDP (annualized) is below real GDP (annualized) for an earlier quarter, during which
  • the annual (year-over-year) change in real GDP is negative, in at least one quarter.

Here’s how real GDP has fared from the first quarter of 1947 through the first quarter of 2010 (recessions are denoted by vertical bars):

This picture is misleading, of course, because it fails to depict the length and depth of America’s mega-depression, which is now more than a century old and deepening every day.