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When Will the Recession End?

Updated on October 26, 2009

Believe it or not what has become known as "The Great Recession" has been going on for a couple of years now, although economists refused to call it a recession for almost half of that time. So when will it end? No one knows for sure, but I have seen media reports that the recession is already over. I think that is wishful thinking. Anyone can see that the economy is still doing very poorly here in the United States. But how will we know when the recession is really over?

There are several things that economists look for when determining if a recession is over. Because they officially declare a recession after the economy has been doing poorly for two quarters, (they usually wait a quarter or two longer though) they tend to look for the economy to be improving for the same amount of time. Which is why I think the media has wishful thinking - the economy so far is not really improving yet. There needs to be moderate growth instead of a decline.

The economy needs to stabilize in order for the recession to officially be over. The stock market needs to recover a good bit of what it lost. There needs to be an increase in the gross domestic product, not a decrease. The housing market needs to recover as well. For awhile now we have seen the housing market remain stagnant. There has been way too many homes on the market and nothing seems to be selling. Home values have declined tremendously. Once these homes start selling again and the values stabilize, that is a good sign pointing to the end of a recession.

One of the factors of a recession that always grabs national headlines is the unemployment rate. It has been in the double digits now for awhile. Unfortunately the unemployment rate is one of the last areas to recover from a recession. So the economists tend to look for this rate to stabilize or maybe improve just a little bit.

From the very beginning of The Great Recession the economists have said that they expected the recovery to start towards the end of 2009. As much as I would like this to happen, to me it doesn't look like it will. There are still too many factors pointing towards a recession, not a recovery. But the fact is - it will happen eventually. We have always pulled out of recessions in the past and we will again.


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    • G.L.A. profile image

      Geri Anderson 6 years ago from Arizona

      mid-2011, and the great recession continues in Arizona.. countless homes in foreclosure, and people scrambling for survival, while dealing with rapidly increasing cost of living.. Irregardless of what we are told ..there is no end in sight here.

    • Presigo profile image

      Presigo 8 years ago from Spokane, Wa

      I liken the current econmy to a house after a storm. The storm has passed and now we must repair what was damaged. In the normal recessions it has been minimal, and could be brought back quickly. The recent downturn was Katrina and there was damage done to the foundation, the fundamentals of the economy. When the financial institues make money available again to businesses aqnd homeowners, unemployment returns to less than 7 percent than we can declare victory and begin to bring it back to a sustainable growth.

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 8 years ago from Ohio, USA

      The recession may show signs of abating, but inflation will kick in at some point. The deficits rolled up by BHO and GHWB can't be ignored. Our government is not just flat broke, it's in hock.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 8 years ago

      The recession will end when this Administration pulls its act together and does the right thing. Lowering taxes on individuals and businesses will get the economy going and allow businesses to start hiring again. Unfortunately, Obama and his cohorts believe in tax and spend economics. Great hub.

    • tony0724 profile image

      tony0724 8 years ago from san diego calif

      Jennifer I wish I had the answers to those questions myself ! One thing I do know Is that we are all learning to Identify needs from wants . I think the press Is to scared to tell us how screwed we are as not to create a panic .

    • neysajasper profile image

      neysajasper 8 years ago

      Well i think it would not end soon. According to economic analyst America has to bear it with no certainty. Hope that we all can get out of it as soon as possible like that of developing countries like India , China.

    • Nemingha profile image

      Nemingha 8 years ago

      Oh wow, 2012--just in time for the end of the world!

      I think we shall all have to get used to hard times - or seriously change our ways for a long time to come. I'm opting for changing my ways.

    • jiberish profile image

      jiberish 8 years ago from florida

      Most economist are hoping for 2012, it's when Obama is said to release more of the Stimulus money. Good Hub!

    • Jerilee Wei profile image

      Jerilee Wei 8 years ago from United States

      They can call it whatever they want, claim things are getting better -- but when I see almost on a daily basis middle income people in desperate situations, I find it difficult to think it will end soon. Yesterday it was someone unable to pay their utility bill which we now have to pay at the local payday loan places here because the utility company closed their doors to the public. Today, it was someone at the ATM in tears because she didn't have $20 in her account. This was a health care worker dressed for work. Breaks my heart.

    • JYOTI KOTHARI profile image

      Jyoti Kothari 8 years ago from Jaipur

      Hi Jeniffer,

      I don't think recession in the US will end soon. It may be theoretically as economists analyze data but it will continue for all practical purposes.

      The US Government is trying to get more credits and not to improve production. Hence, recession will last for long.

      Thumbs up!


      Jyoti Kothari