The ‘R’ word is now official

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The United States has been in recession since last December, confirming what many already have thought about the economy.

When the economy peaked in December 2007, it marked the end of the expansion that began in November 2001, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. The expansion lasted 73 months, compared to the 120-month expansion in the 1990s, according to the NBER.

The NBER’s Business Cycle Dating Committee, which met last Friday via conference call, based its assessment primarily on domestic production and employment levels. Employment peaked in December 2007 and has been declining every month since. Production levels began falling in the last quarter of 2007, rose slightly in the first two quarters of 2008, and began falling again in the third quarter.

The Dow Jones Industrials average fell almost 700 points yesterday, wiping out more than half of last week’s gains. The U.S. markets are expected to rise slightly today, following a now-familiar pattern of snapping back after a huge sell-off.

Click on the links below for commentary on yesterday’s announcement.

Wall Street Journal
CNN/Money
Boston Globe
New York Times
USA Today

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