Is the recession over? Obama’s advisers differ

December 13, 2009

Is the economic recession over in the United States? It depends on who you ask, even among President Barack Obama’s advisers.

USA-FINANCE/SUMMERS“Today everyone agrees that the recession is over. And the questions are around how fast we’ll recover,” Larry Summers, the director of the National Economic Council, told CNN on Sunday.

But wait a minute. Not everyone agrees.

Senior White House economist Christina Romer, asked the same question on another television program, said “of course not.”

She acknowledged that the United States may have turned the corner under the official definition of recession, because economic growth has returned.

 ”But what the president has always said, and I firmly believe: you’re not recovered until all those people that want to work are back to work,” Romer told NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

She said the U.S. jobless rate, now at 10 percent, might even go up again before it heads down.

“I’m not going to say the recession is over until the unemployment rate is down to normal levels … where we were before the recession … certainly in the 5 percent range.” This, she noted, could take a long time.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell seemed to lean more toward Romer’s point of view.

“The 10 percent of the Americans who are without work don’t think it’s over,” he told CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “Unemployment is the key.”

Who do you think has it right, Summers or Romer?

Photo Credit: Reuters/Nicholas Roberts (Summers)

3 comments

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You can only know the recession is over, once the next boom has begun.

Posted by defcon86 | Report as abusive

For the investor class, the recession ended in April. For the working class, the recession will go on as the country experiences another jobless recovery. Until the model of supply side economics used by every administration since Reagan is changed to one of demand side economics, the gap between the haves and the have-mores will continue to widen.

Posted by Yellow105 | Report as abusive

I agree that the investor class has seen some gains but to call a return to 10,500 from 14,000 a recovery is clearly incorrect, the market has no gains to show for the last decade.

Employment always lags in cyclical recoveries and this one will be no different, in fact the chance that jobs will take longer to return has much less to do with Bush, Clinton or Obama and more to do with a major change in the technology that we use to do work.

These structural breaks are very tough to ride through as they require the right mix of Government incentive and private sector job creation.

Posted by jstaf | Report as abusive