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Recession: NBER Makes It Official (A Year Later) at Trader’s Narrative

It is official. And about a year too late. But the economists at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) have spoken:

The committee determined that a peak in economic activity occurred in the U.S. economy in December 2007.
Business Cycle Dating Committee

Way back in September 2007 I started wondering, “Are we in a recession already?” - then at the start of January 2008, officially called it: we are in a recession.

In that post I showed a chart of the Google trends for “recession”. By the end of January 2008, the Google trend for “recession” was off the charts.

Then most recently, I mentioned that according to Dr.Copper we are in a recession. If you look closely at that chart, the annual rate of change did go negative in early 2007 (just barely). But enough to warrant a signal, just as previous ones.

Even LOLcats got in on the act and signaled a recession before the NBER economists.

Economics must be the only profession where you can make a living driving by looking at the rear view mirror. Too bad traders can’t make buy and sell decisions once the charts have been printed.


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4 Responses to “Recession: NBER Makes It Official (A Year Later)”  

  1. 1 Jason

    According to Keynes, the root cause of an economic downturns is an insufficient aggregate demand. When the total demand for goods and services declines, businesses throughout the economy see their sales fall off. Lower sales induce firms to cut back production and to lay off workers. Rising unemployment and declining profits further depress demand, leading to a feedback loop with a very unhappy ending.

  2. 2 Pam

    What is the difference between recession and depression?

  3. 3 Beck

    That’s pretty simple, and is answered by the following old saw: a recession is when your neighbour loses his job; a depression is when you lose yours as well.

  4. 4 Babak

    a recession is when you get a job cutting grass to supplement your income, a depression is when you eat the grass to supplement your meager diet

    (yes, people actually ate grass during the 1930 depression in the US)

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