Stateside – Recession over says National Bureau of Economic Research

In the USA the agency with responsibility for determining when the US has left recession claims that the recent payroll report showing the biggest increase in employment in three years makes it clear the recession is over.

From the Bloomberg report

The biggest increase in employment in three years makes it “pretty clear” the deepest U.S. recession since the 1930s has ended, said the head of the group charged with making the call.

Payrolls rose by 162,000 workers last month, the third gain in the past five months and the most since March 2007, figures from the Labor Department showed yesterday in Washington.

“I personally put lots of emphasis on employment,” Robert Hall, who heads the National Bureau of Economic Research’s Business Cycle Dating Committee, said in an interview. “I would say ‘pretty clear’ is a good description” for whether the economic contraction has ended, he said.

Update: Morning in America?

Obama economic advisor Larry Summers says US economy reaching escape velocity. From the FT

The US economy is poised for self-sustaining growth and should continue creating jobs in the months ahead, Larry Summers, senior economic adviser to Barack Obama, said in his most upbeat assessment of the economic climate.

Speaking in London ahead of Friday’s strong US payroll figures, which showed the US economy created 162,000 jobs in March, Mr Summers said the administration’s policies had underpinned confidence and fostered investment: “I think the economy appears to be moving towards escape velocity. You hear a lot less talk of W-shaped recoveries and double-dips than you did six months ago.”

  • pinni

    A minuscule improvement, obviously, with half the new jobs being temporary and the unemployment rate remaining at 9.7%. A slight cause for optimism, nonetheless.

  • Mack

    Lao-tzu might be relevant here –

    A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

  • I wish them luck pushing that tale, Mack. The other reality might be quite different …..

    You don’t actually yourself believe what you read in Main Stream Media comics, do you?

  • Mack

    We’ve had financial meltdowns of one form or another pretty regularly over the last 10-12 years (e.g. the collapse of Long Term Capital management / Russian / Latin American / Asian currency / debt crises, the bust, the sub-prime credit crunch). No doubt we’ll have another one sometime (soonish). The risk hasn’t gone away. In the meantime adding jobs to the economy is good news (even if hourly wages fell 🙁 )..

  • pinni

    I think we are all clutching at straws and hoping for the best. A glimmer is better than darkness.

    Things seem at last to be very gradually improving in the US, in spite of Obama’s devastating increase in the deficit, matching Bush’s 8 years in just 15 months, and his forced takeover of the healthcare system which promises to be an even bigger disaster.

    Maybe the latest job numbers will help to staunch the drop in Obama’s approval ratings which are now down to 44% in the latest CBS poll.

  • pinni


    It’s nice to see a little respect for the master himself, President Ronald Reagan. His Morning in America theme was a great inspiration to the whole world!

  • joeCanuck

    ‘Tis but one swallow. Still, it does give a glimmer of hope.

  • Framer

    Some 40,000 of the new jobs are temps working on the census.

  • Brian MacAodh

    40 K are census workers, another 30 are other govt jobs. Why the hell is the govt getting bigger? We can’t pay our bills as it is but we are now hiring more people? Absurd

  • Munsterview

    Coming out of the recession in the U.S. ? as they say down this neck of the woods, they are in my Arse!

    If U.S. government advisers believe that then Fianna Failure must have left some of their spin merchants behind with Obama after the Patrick’s day celebrations!

    Meanwhile according to my ‘Wealth Daily’ newsletter from the States, now that they have just about controlled the sub-prime fall out, the problem is now moving up the food chain with accelerating conventional mortgage defaulters. The extent of the problem is estimated in some quarters as I.5 trillion dollars this year. If so the good Old U.S.A is in the toilet bowl and it is already flushing God Help the rest of us!

    So feast your collective eyes on some of this. Not quite so rosy looking is it?

    Happy Easter to the ‘Boys Of The Old Brigade ( and girls ) and all the rest of you out there.

    Enjoy your read, there is plenty more of the same on the analysis sheet, I have only given a couple of highlights of ten listed items, all equally dismal from a recent issue of ‘Wealth Daily


    4. Tax Revenues are Plummeting
    California’s fiscal woes are only the tip of the iceberg. Falling tax revenues in 45 of the 50 states have left all of them facing fresh budget shortfalls.
    In fact, according to a recent report from the Rockefeller Institute of Government, tax collections dropped by 11.7 % the first quarter — the largest fall on record. Meanwhile, early figures for April and May show an overall decline of nearly 20 per cent for total taxes. That will undoubtedly reduce demand and slow down the recovery, since government spending acccounts for 18% of U.S. GDP:

    As for the Federal government, there has been a 22% drop in individual tax receipts so far this year, along with a 57% drop in corporate taxes.
    In short, while the government is always out of money, it has never been close to this bad. Without the printing presses, we would already be bankrupt.

    5. Rising Prime Mortgage Defaults
    Remember when subprime mortgages began to blow up? Of course you do. . . that’s old hat at this point. Today, those defaults have moved right on up the value chain…….Delinquency rates on the least risky mortgages more than doubled in the first quarter from a year earlier, as prime mortgages 60 days or more past due climbed to 2.9 percent through March. Serious delinquencies on prime loans, which account for two-thirds of all U.S. mortgages, rose to 661,914 in the first quarter from 250,986 a year earlier. Meanwhile, mortgages 60 days or more past due rose 88 percent from last year.,,,,,,,,,The good news is this is the last of the mortgage dominos. After prime mortages, there’s nothing left to fail. Unfortunately, this is the biggest domino of them all.

    Unfortunately, this is the biggest domino of them all.

    6. Oh, but Wait. . . I Forgot about Option ARMs
    As my pal Ian Copper has been writing for some time now, Option ARM resets will be tougher for the economy to handle than subprime and we will see greater numbers of bank failures, foreclosures, delinquencies, and economic hardships because of it………What should concern you is that about $750 billion worth of option ARMs were issued between 2004 and 2007 and will begin resetting shortly. Worse, as of December 2008, about 28% of option ARMs were either delinquent or in foreclosure, according to reports…….But here’s the kicker: nearly 61% of option ARMs originated in 2007 will eventually default, according to a Goldman Sachs report. And due to the way these mortgage nightmares are structured, the rest of them won’t fare much better……..61%??? That’s enough to make a banker take a leap.

    7. Next Up: The Credit Card Debacle
    According to reports earlier this month, credit card losses are continuing to accelerate with Capital One reporting that write-offs have reached 9.4%. . . with no end in sight. Meanwhile, American Express Co., the largest U.S. credit card company by purchases, wrote off 10 percent of its own loans……..Simultaneously, revolving credit totaled $939.6 billion in March and the Federal Reserve reported that 6.5 percent of it was at least 30 days past due. That is the highest percentage since the Fed began tracking this number back in 1991………What has evolved is an environment where banks are much less eager to hand out the plastic, since the business isn’t exactly what it used to be. And as a result, banks sent out only about 500 million credit card solicitations in the first quarter.  That is fewer than in any year since 2000, as overall available credit shrinks……And when the credit card swamp finally gets drained, a “new normal” will be here to stay.


  • pinni

    I thought the term ‘escape velocity’ was quite amusing. The very tiny improvement in US job numbers has about as much escape velocity as the electric cars that Obama wants us all to drive. We’re not going to get very far with the treehuggers trying to force us all to drive around in little milk floats.

  • This article, …. …. and the knowledge that Uncle Sam leads with its export of War and Weapons, Death and Destruction around the world, would agree with Munsterview on Apr 03, 2010 @ 04:56 PM, that all this talk of green shoots and brighter days ahead is a idiots’ fiction in News media.

    And read “[b]War is a Racket[/b]”, and do yourself a big favour, to know why it is so ……. …… and who the terrorist enemy and its allies are, and then armed with that greater knowledge are you much better prepared to help the System defeat them with your more informed support rather than abdicating the responsibility because of your ignorant apathy.

    [b]Public Apathy Enables Leaders To Ignore Voters [/b] …. CIA Red Cell Special Memorandum, 11 March 2010 ….. and aint that the Truth. … … and Apathy only survives and thrives within Ignorance and with the Internet making information freely and instantly available to all who would just ask a search engine for knowledge, are the days of pulling a flanker and pimping dodgy dossiers for the illegal pursuit of crimes against humanity because of a failed capitalist system and bankrupt economic model, another failed model in need of a fundamental and radical change.

    And Northern Ireland has its news commandeered by some dodgy dealing in a sliver of land apparently only worth a fiver. Which just about sums up the Province methinks in the Scale of the Big Intelligence Picture. Pathetic, isn’t it?

  • And what do you make of this tale ……

    True or False? Trick or Treat?