While experts argue over what this recession will look like years from now, a University of Central Florida economist says it most resembles a gravy boat.
Sean Snaith says the pace of the economic downturn and anticipated recovery looks like the slanted handle, bowl bottom and prolonged spout of a traditional sauce-serving dish.
"Forget the V-shape or other letters that economists talk about when they describe the economy," he says. "This will be a 'gravy boat recession' with a steady and gradual recovery. After touching bottom in the third quarter of 2009, we'll see GDP slowly climb like a gravy boat's spout."
Although the country's economic downturn will not be the deepest since the Great Depression, Snaith says, it will be the longest recession and recovery period since then.