Many people say the most recession never ended, and some say the modest economic growth we’ve had in the past two years is about to come to an end and the economy will start moving backward again. N.C. State University economist Mike Walden provides his analysis of what’s ahead.
“Well … first of all, definition of a recession: Recession means … the economy is going backwards. It’s producing less output, producing fewer jobs. And we had that from roughly 2008 to the middle of 2009, but since the middle of 2009 we’ve actually seen economic production go up. We’ve actually seen the economy add 1.7 million jobs.
“The problem, though, is that the rate of growth has been very, very slow. For example, although we’ve added 1.7 million jobs, we’re still down 4 million jobs from the end of 2007. So although technically we’re not in a recession, many people feel like we are.
“Now your question, though, gets at whether the economy could start to go into reverse again. And that’s been prompted by the fact that we’ve had very, very weak output numbers. We’ve had a very, very weak job report the last couple of job reports.
“I think that we’re not going to go in reverse. I think that we’re going to, in essence, tread water — keep our head above water, that is have growth, but it’s going to be very, very slow growth.
“Bottom line: Though although technically not a recession to many people, it will continue to feel like a recession.”