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It’s official: US exits recession...

business Updated: Sep 21, 2010 22:01 IST
Yashwant Raj

When he was laid off two years ago, Eric took the first job that came his way, driving taxi. He doesn’t hope to get back his job despite the recession being declared over.

The National Bureau of Economic Research, a non-profit body generally considered the final arbiter of start and end dates for economic cycles and trends in the US, declared on Sunday recession ended in June 2009.

“The committee determined that a trough in business activity occurred in the U.S. economy in June 2009,” the bureau said on Monday, adding, “The trough marks the end of the recession that began in December 2007 and the beginning of an expansion.”

The bureau said the recession lasted 18 months and was the longest after the World War II, overtaking the previous record-holders — 1973-75 and 1981-82, both of which lasted 16 months each.

Though the announcement was widely quoted, no one was celebrating.
The reaction was mostly this: a lot needs to be done yet.

The bureau itself said the expansion that started in June is going to be extremely slow as it always is in the early stages of recovery. But it gave no timeline on when to expect visible signs of recovery.

President Barack Obama referred to the announcement in a town hall interaction hosted by a television network, saying much needs to be done to get the employment figures going up again.

“Even though economists may say that the recession officially ended last year, obviously for the millions of people who are still out of work, people who have seen their home values decline, people who are struggling to pay their bills day to day, it’s still very real for them,” Obama said.

In a separate announcement, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said in Paris that the US’s unemployment figures will not fall to pre-recession levels before 2013.