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UNF's #1 Student-Run News Source

UNF Spinnaker

Eighteen-month recession declared over

By Jordyn Waters

The end of the recession occurred in June 2009, according to an announcement by the National Bureau of Economic Research Sept. 20.

Experts on Wall Street long expected the announcement, but it comes as a surprise to many Americans, considering national unemployment is hovering just under 10 percent.

According to the bureau, the recession began December 2007 and ended 18 months later.
To determine the end of the recession, the research group examined growth of gross domestic product in the U.S. Total value of goods produced in the country determines GDP.

Experts in the field disagree on the suitability of the bureau’s announcement.

Some experts feel GDP growth by quarter determines the recession, which is what the bureau uses to assess economic growth. If GDP growth is negative, the recession continues. If GDP growth is positive, the U.S. pulls out of the recession.

Dr. Paul Mason, chair of the UNF Department of Economics and Geography, agrees with the bureau’s conclusion.

“That’s probably a logical conclusion on their part,” he said. “The second quarter of 2009 was the last negative quarter of GDP growth.”

The bureau said the recession is over when the economy is on a path to recovery.

Dr. Andres Gallo, associate economics and geography professor, agrees with the announcement but said the issue is bigger than what the bureau has to say.

“The problem is not is if it is over or not, it’s if the people feel that it’s over,” he said.

Gallo said he feels the recession won’t be over in the mind of the people until they have been told that everything is back to normal.

“If everybody becomes optimistic, suddenly the economy’s going to grow,” he said. “It’s like everybody’s waiting for good news to go out and do something about it, and if you don’t see good news, nothing’s going to go up.”

Gallo said it’s a catch 22.

Others in the field believe the announcement of the end of the recession was a mistake.

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett has made it clear that he believes the recession is not over.

“On any common sense definition, the average American is below where he was before, or his family, in terms of real income GDP,” Buffett told CNBC Sept. 23.

Buffett’s criterion for the end to the recession is that damage must be repaired. He said once the economy is in the same state in which it was prior to the economic decline, the recession can be considered over.

For college students, whether or not the recession is officially over is of little concern. The pressing issue is the state of the job market.

“Because the unemployment rate is so high, there are a lot of people out there without jobs who have a lot more experience than the students just coming right out of college,” Mason said. ”There are lots [of people] in their late 20s and early 30s who have more experience and consequently may be chosen by employers before the new graduates.”

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