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August 15, 2012

AP: Recovery Is Weakest Since WWII

I'd say "Recovery," in quotes, but at least they addressed the issue.

(Well that's not quite fair -- they do mention the most important issue in America (and the world) from time to time. But obviously they far prefer the saga of the gay haircut.)

The recession that ended three years ago this summer has been followed by the feeblest economic recovery since the Great Depression.

Since World War II, 10 U.S. recessions have been followed by a recovery that lasted at least three years. An Associated Press analysis shows that by just about any measure, the one that began in June 2009 is the weakest.

The ugliness goes well beyond unemployment, which at 8.3 percent is the highest this long after a recession ended.

Economic growth has never been weaker in a postwar recovery. Consumer spending has never been so slack. Only once has job growth been slower.

More than in any other post-World War II recovery, people who have jobs are hurting: Their paychecks have fallen behind inflation.

...

The AP compared nine economic recoveries since the end of World War II that lasted at least three years....

Here is a closer look at how the comeback from the Great Recession stacks up with the others:

—FEEBLE GROWTH

America's gross domestic product — the broadest measure of economic output — grew 6.8 percent from the April-June quarter of 2009 through the same quarter this year, the slowest in the first three years of a postwar recovery. GDP grew an average of 15.5 percent in the first three years of the eight other comebacks analyzed.

The engines that usually drive recoveries aren't firing this time.

Investment in housing, which grew an average of nearly 34 percent this far into previous postwar recoveries, is up just 8 percent since the April-June quarter of 2009.

That's because the overbuilding of the mid-2000s left a glut of houses. Prices fell and remain depressed. The housing market has yet to return to anything close to full health even as mortgage rates have plunged to record lows.

They throw in this stat, which seems true, and irrelevant:

Government spending and investment at the federal, state and local levels was 4.5 percent lower in the second quarter than three years earlier.

Three years into previous postwar recoveries, government spending had risen an average 12.5 percent. In the first three years after the 1981-82 recession, during President Ronald Reagan's first term, the economy got a jolt from a 15 percent increase in government spending and investment.

This is the most underreported story of the past three years. The press have never underplayed economic misery to this degree before.

I'd like to see an analysis of that -- press coverage of this recession versus the previous ones.


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posted by Ace at 01:54 PM

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