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2016 US Recession - Global Recession


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Fastest Growing Alternative Economic Journal!


Would you like to know how bad the recession is going to be? Will it be a US Recession or maybe engulf the whole world and become a Global Recession? Mild? Severe? Are you trying to find out more about The Great Recession? Need details on the Financial Crisis? Do you have an opinion on these subjects or more questions than answers? You've come to the right place. This is The Recession Journal.

- By popular request, we have listed NBER Official US Recessions on the Welcome Page -

List of US Recessions

Post-1900 US Recessions:
Sep 1902 - 23 Months, May 1907 - 13 Months, Jan 1910 - 24 Months, Jan 1913 - 23 Months, Aug 1918 - 7 Months, Jan 1920 - 18 Months, May 1923 - 14 Months, Oct 1926 - 13 Months, Aug 1929 - 43 Months, May 1937 - 13 Months, Feb 1945 - 8 Months, Nov 1948 - 11 Months, Jul 1953 - 10 Months, Aug 1957 - 8 Months, Apr 1960 - 10 Months, Dec 1969 - 11 Months, Nov 1973 - 16 Months, Jan 1980 - 6 Months, Jul 1981 - 16 Months, Jul, 1990 - 8 Months, Mar 2001 - 8 Months, Dec 2007 - 18 Months .... 2016?

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2016 Recession Risk?


Try 2016 Global Financial Crisis Risk

In some of the clearest parallels yet to the start of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, global stock markets continue plunging early this week in the face of a stench that the markets are running from just about as fast as orderly possible.

Overnight Monday US/Tuesday morning Europe:

  • Japan's Nikkei closed down over 900 pts (nearly 5.5%)

  • Yields on Japanese 10-year treasuries went negative for the very first time

  • CDS Spreads* on Deutsche Bank spiked to 236bp - higher than any point in the Global Financial Crisis

  • $7T of global government debt with yields below zero


* credit default swap (CDS) is a financial swap agreement that the seller of the CDS will compensate the buyer (usually the creditor of the reference loan) in the event of a loan default (by the debtor) or other credit event. This is to say that the seller of the CDS insures the buyer against some reference loan defaulting. The buyer of the CDS makes a series of payments (the CDS "fee" or "spread") to the seller and, in exchange, receives a payoff if the loan defaults. It was invented by Blythe Masters from JP Morgan in 1994. (Wikipedia)

Reuters

TOKYO, Feb 9 Japan's Nikkei share average posted its biggest daily drop in nearly three years on Tuesday, with banks taking the brunt of the sell-off, while a stronger yen dragged down stocks across the board. Story


Bloomberg

Updated on February 9, 2016. The yield on Japan’s benchmark 10-year government bonds fell below zero for the first time, an unprecedented level for a Group-of-Seven economy, as global financial turmoil and the Bank of Japan’s adoption of negative interest rates drive demand for the notes. Story


Financial Times

Investors flock to CDS amid fear over banks’ bonds Joe Rennison in New York.

Deutsche, which has one of the weakest capital ratios among large global banks, led a rout in global bank stocks on Monday, and CDS on the company blew out to 236bp, wider than at any point during the 2008 financial crisis...

CDS is also suffering from a pro-cyclical effect. As bank debt feels pain, investors seek to protect positions by buying CDS. That in turn sends a signal that investors think there is a higher likelihood of default, pushing CDS spreads wider, compounding the problem. Story
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Citi: World Economy in 'Death Spiral'


Global Recession Headline Story

Some analysts — including those at Citi — have turned bearish on the world economy this year, following an equity rout in January and weaker economic data out of China and the U.S.

"The world appears to be trapped in a circular reference death spiral," Citi strategists led by Jonathan Stubbs said in a report on Thursday.

"Stronger U.S. dollar, weaker oil/commodity prices, weaker world trade/petrodollar liquidity, weaker EM (and global growth)... and repeat. Ad infinitum, this would lead to Oilmageddon, a 'significant and synchronized' global recession and a proper modern-day equity bear market." Full article here (CNBC)


Citi has not been mincing their words or holding back punches when it comes to their take on the economic landscape in 2016, vocally sounding alarm bells for the increasing risk, if not likelihood, that the slump becomes a full-on US recession and global recession this year. Two weeks ago while in Davos, Citi's Buiter then also warned that the entire world is in fact already teetering on the edge of global recession that could persist throughout 2016 and even into next year, joining the ever growing list forecasting growth recession or worse.
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Whatever Payroll Numbers Show Tomorrow...

The trend over the past several weeks to months has increasingly been one of flashing orange to red about employment prospects worldwide, including - not excluding - the largest economies, like the United States, heading into the new year.

Recession 2016 Leading Indicator - Mass Layoffs

The following partial list, compiled by Chris Marenson over at Seeking Alpha, really illustrates what a nasty trend we have been seeing as of late.

Mass planned closings, layoffs and redundancies compiled since Jan 1st




It is very apparent looking at the above list that the strongest drivers of  the US econony since the end
of the Great Recession: Energy, Finance and Tech, are now largely rolling rolling over.
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Income Inequality

How many everyday people experience recession even without recession in one gif.

#plutocracy #incomeinequality Cynical, but some truth?https://media.giphy.com/media/3o7ZeC2C6WBLzdwAQE/giphy.gif

Posted by Recession Journal on Thursday, February 4, 2016
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New Global Banking Crisis Risk



Banking & Financial Crisis Risk Rising

European Banks at the Epicenter of Potential New Financial Crisis

European banks more than others are already showing signs of stress in the face of not only China, collapsing oil, but now, unintended consequences of the increasing number of central banks implementing Negative Interest Rate Policy, or NIRP.

From CNBC
European banks near 'terrifying' crisis

With European banks sitting at multiyear lows, one widely followed market watcher said some of the biggest ones could go bankrupt...

Former hedge fund manager and Goldman Sachs alumnus Raoul Pal said his scenario is one most investors aren't looking at right now.

Pal said the banking issues have the potential to overtake risks associated with China's growth slowdown and cheap oil.

"So many of these [bank stocks] are falling so sharply. I think people haven't even caught up with what is going on... "I look at the big long-term share charts of them, and I think this looks very terrifying indeed. I have not seen anything like this for a long time."

For Pal, negative interest rates are the chief reason why the bank stocks are in trouble. (Full video here


Also from CNBC:
Here’s what is rocking European banks ahead of earnings
Italy: Bad loans Italian banks faced intense market pressure in January due to concerns about their still very high levels of bad debts. These fears were ignited when the European Central Bank requested further details on nonperforming loan portfolios..

Germany: Record loss for Deutsche Deutsche Bank, Germany's largest bank, reported Thursday that it had a record loss for 2015...

UK: China exposure Outside of Asia, British banks are among the most exposed in the industry to Hong Kong and mainland China. This increases their vulnerability to the slowdown in the world's second-biggest economy and the disruption in its equity market. Full story here
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Business Loan Demand Now Contracting

US Recession 2016 Leading Indicator: Red


2016 US Recession Flag Flashing Red as Business Loan Demand Tanks


Above: Loan growth among large firms is declining for the first time in several years

Business demand for loans declined for the first time in four years, according to the just released Federal Reserve Senior Loan Officer Survey. Loan demand dropped by double digits among all size businesses, from small mom-and-pops to the largest of corporations.

According to Paul Ashworth, the Chief Economist at Capital Economics:

The weakening in demand for business loans suggests that the growth rate of actual commercial and industrial lending will grind to a halt this year..

Furthermore, banks reported that the weakness in demand for loans from businesses was primarily because the latter were scaling back their investment plans... That suggests any rebound in investment in equipment in the first half of this year will be muted at best. With the mining, manufacturing and agriculture sectors all hurting, we hadn't expected much from business investment this year, but the drop off in loan demand is worse than we would have expected.


In addition to a pronounced slump in actual demand for loans across nearly all businesses, the FRSLOS also found that
"on balance, banks tightened their standards on commercial and industrial (C&I) and commercial real estate (CRE) loans (entering 2016, and)...Modest net fractions of banks stated they expect to tighten their lending standards on C&I loans, moderate net fractions of banks stated they expect to tighten their lending standards on NFNR loans, and significant net fractions stated they expect to tighten their lending standards on CLD and MF loans over the course of this year."
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ZIRP, DERP, they've gone NIRP!



Japan Goes All Japanesa after 5th Recession Since 2008



Japan Turning Japanese - I Really Sink So
The Bank of Japan lowered interest rates Friday. After years of ZIRP, DERP, they've gone NIRP!

“Abenomics” - put in place three years ago - included 'unprecedented' Quantitative Easing, vigourous fiscal policy, and structural reforms. It was sold as the model with which mature economies battling deflation would be able free themselves of the morass.

Alas, Abenomics has shown to be not enough, and Japan is now arguably falling into its fifth or six recession since 2008, alone, depending on how one's counting. Japanese inflation has been nil, and household spending, the bulk of their GDP, has dropped over 4% since 2014. Yeah, that might be a touch recessionary.

Most recently, household spending has fallen 4.4% in the year to December, and factory output fell 1.4% in December, much worse than the market forecast of a 0.3% retreat.

Do Not Fear! NIRP is Here!

CNBC: Bank of Japan adopts negative interest rate policy

The Bank of Japan blindsided global financial markets Friday by adopting negative interest rates for the first time ever,

buckling under pressure to revive growth in the world's third-largest economy...

The BOJ left its program to buy government bonds and exchange traded funds (ETFs) unchanged.

The central bank noted that the Japanese economy has recovered modestly with underlying inflation picking up, along with spending by companies and households.
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China: 'Real Economy' Sound


China shares may be lower, but the 'real economy' is dandy, says China Free Press
Reuters:
China's volatile shares were lower again on Thursday, taking losses this month to about 23 percent or 12 trillion yuan ($1.8 trillion), while state media insisted that the market ructions did not reflect the real economy...

Thursday in the People's Daily, the official mouthpiece of China's Communist Party, laid in to "groundless fears" about the economy, which it said was still propelling global growth, and enjoying rising foreign investment, moderate inflation and prudent monetary policy...
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HUH?

US Recession by Falling Oil



Well, it's not allll that simple, and James Hamilton over at Econobrowser posits that falling oil prices alone may only be culpable in triggering regional recessions (think oil production heavy economies, like Texas, or North Dakota).

Prof. Hamilton starts out by quoting < Donald Luskin's Jan 7th article in the Wall Street Journal titled 'The Recession Caused by Low Oil Prices'


The global economy is slipping into recession. The evidence is showing up in all the usual ways: slowing output growth, slumping purchasing-manager indexes, widening credit spreads, declining corporate earnings, falling inflation expectations, receding capital investment and rising inventories. But this is a most unusual recession– the first one ever caused by falling oil prices.


Prof. Hamilton reminds us that falling oil prices should in theory, and have in the past, given consumers extra discretionary money with which to spend, spend, spend:

We usually see consumers spend their extra income right away, whereas it takes more time for producers to alter their spending plans. As a result, even if the U.S. was not a net importer of oil, we might still expect to see a short-run positive stimulus from dropping oil prices.


However, he also finds some nuances this time, not expected in classical modeling:

The actual change in overall consumption spending in response to the oil price decline through March of last year was about 0.4% smaller than would have been predicted on the basis of the historical correlations... The conclusion I draw from the seemingly conflicting evidence in the macro and micro data is that each consumer spent more than they would have if oil prices had not fallen, but that there were other macro headwinds at the same time that were offsetting some of the positive stimulus of falling oil prices. (Bolding emphasis added to highlight what my thoughts which I will add below**)


He continues,
But 1986 was a bad time for Texas and the other oil-producing states. Here’s a graph from some analysis I did with Michael Owyang of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. (LINK)


** Reason for Concern
This is not 1986

I have always believed that lower oil prices do add up to extra money in the hands of the people most likely to need and quickly spend it -elsewhere- but this 'elsewhere' is not necessarily any more beneficial to economic growth than spending it at your local gas station that ultimately also fuels jobs for workers at refineries, drills, the makers of drill bits, etc. etc. etc. ....

In fact, as I highlight above, this is -not- 1986. The US is not in a solid recovery phase from the trough of that cycle, but rather in a growth rate cycle slowdown, at best, and that, in the bigger picture of 1) Still recovering from the Great Recession and Global Financial Crisis of 2007-2012, as well as also navigating what now appears to be a world economy on the cusp of yet another Global Recession 2016 Edition.

So, yes, while I completely buy the premise that most of the time falling oil is a net plus, I strongly question the premise that these falling, rather, collapsing oil and commodities prices in this broader context of an incipient Global Recession and a still rather large US GDP Gap left in the wake of the Great Recession (ergo, not merely a recession but an outright economic Depression by any reasonable definition), leaves just the normal oil producing region at risk of outright recession. Texas, as a stand-alone, is the 12th largest economy in the whole world, and it is clearly sliding into recession now.
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Can US Recession Even be Avoided w/o Texas?

Texas alone has as about the same size economy as Canada, or Australia, or Russia!

Manufacturing activity in Texas contracted the most since the depths of the Global Financial Crisis, with the headline General Business Activity Index falling to a super recessionary -34.6 this month, vs consensus forecasts of about -14.5

January is the 13th consecutive month in contraction. The last time Texas saw a longer run of back-to-back contractions in its index was 08-09, with a grand total of 25 months in contraction during the Great Recession - which, it shouldn't go without reminding, was not just a US Recession - but an entire worldwide economic meltdown.

Looking out ahead, the Texas Business outlook also tumbled deeper in the red, at -19.5, compared to -10.5 in December. Survey respondents pointed to the collapsing oil prices, slumping stock market, and the strong dollar as the three biggest culprits to statewide weakness.

Texas Leading Index (last updated for Nov 2015) strongly flagged a coming US Recession alert. Texas leads the nation in...

Posted by Recession Journal on Monday, January 25, 2016


Some Texas Stats
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US Gas Under a Dollar a Gal. ?

RECESSION DEFLATION


How Low Can You Go
Gasoline prices continue to plummet, and one of our Facebook Recession members found this station in Texas now at $1.35/gal ~ But get this! In one part of Michigan, several competing stations were already coming in with GAS UNDER A DOLLAR ... Well under a dollar! Gas prices in Houghton Lake, Michigan, fell below 50 cents over the MLK weekend. (Story)


$1.35 in Texas! What's the lowest you've found so far and where?

Posted by Recession Journal on Monday, January 25, 2016
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Stockman:
Markets in store for a "Thundering Reset"



Stockman: "I think we have a dead cat bounce in no-man's-land" David Stockman on the 'EPIC' debt-deflation bubble he believes is now unraveling.

Posted by Recession Journal on Sunday, January 24, 2016
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More than 3 million people will become unemployed worldwide in the next two years, making existing jobs vulnerable and fuelling potential social unrest as the global economy slows, a report warns.

The International Labour Organization predicts unemployment will rise by about 2.3 million this year to 199.4 million, and that 1.1 million will be added to the global count in 2017, taking joblessness to more than 200 million for the first time on record.

The ILO, a UN agency focused on labour standards and social protection, said the effects of last year’s economic slowdown would play out in higher unemployment in 2016, particularly in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.

Developing markets in those areas will bear the brunt of increased joblessness after the prices of oil and other commodities tumbled in response to slowing growth, the ILO said in its World Employment and Social Outlook report for 2016.

The ILO released the forecasts as the global financial elite gathered in the Swiss ski resort of Davos for the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting. The event takes place as oil prices hover near 13-year lows below $30 a barrel, share prices tumble and analysts try to determine the impact of China’s slowing economy.

Raymond Torres, one of the report’s authors, said market turmoil at the start of 2016 meant his already gloomy predictions could prove overoptimistic. The International Monetary Fund cut its global growth forecast on Tuesday.

“There are risks and they are mainly on the downside,” Torres said. “We don’t know the exact dimensions of the slowdown in China. The labour market impact is one of the unknowns because we are going into uncharted territory.”

The ILO said oil producers such as Brazil, Nigeria and Russia could suffer social instability as unemployment rose. Brazil has experienced bouts of protest and social disorder in response to spending cuts, tax rises and joblessness.

Torres said: “In these countries, there are shrinking budgets for social protection, food subsidies and so on. When measures like this are taken, it can fuel social tensions.”

Unemployment fell last year in developed economies, but the global total of 197.1 million remained 27 million higher than in 2007, before the financial crisis.

Torres said the expected rise in unemployment to 200 million was coupled with increasing insecurity, as solid jobs are replaced by unstable work in developing and developed countries.

“It’s not just unemployment – underemployment is going in the same direction. There are lower participation rates in India but also in the US, where people have dropped out of the labour market, and also in the UK, where for some groups there is low participation.”

The ILO research showsthe UK is one of the stronger countries for employment. Britain’s unemployment rate of 5.2% in October 2015 was the lowest since January 2006. The number of young people not in education, unemployment or training was at an eight-year low and prospects look positive for job creation, it concludes.

But Torres said poor quality, unstable jobs remained a problem for the UK and that welfare changes needed to maintain support for people struggling to find work. Low-paid, insecure jobs weaken the economy by reducing the living standards of those most likely to spend money, he said.

Guy Ryder, the ILO director general, said: “Many working women and men are having to accept low-paid jobs, both in emerging and developing economies, and also increasingly in developed countries. Despite a drop in the number of unemployed in some EU countries and the US, too many people are still jobless. We need to take urgent action to boost the number of decent work opportunities or we risk intensified social tensions.”

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/jan/19/global-unemployment-3-million-rise-next-two-years-international-labour-organization-report
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Almost two in three Americans don't have enough savings to pay for a $500 car repair or a $1,000 emergency room bill, according to a new Bankrate report.

Only 37% of U.S. adults have enough savings to pay for these unexpected expenses. 23% would reduce their spending on other things to make ends meet, 15% would use credit cards and another 15% would borrow from family or friends.

Americans are most likely to part with restaurant meals when money gets tight: 58% are very or somewhat likely to cut back this year in order to save money. They would have a much harder time reducing their spending on alcohol (just 35% are very or somewhat likely to trim their spending in this area, the lowest of the five choices that were offered).

46% are very/somewhat likely to decrease their cable/satellite TV expenses, 41% plan to spend less on coffee and 39% are aiming for lower cell phone costs.

While savings predictably increase with income and education, even 46% of the highest-income households ($75,000+ per year) and 52% of college graduates lack enough savings to cover a $500 car repair or $1,000 emergency room visit.

via Undernews
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Welcome to
the_recession!


Welcome visitors, members one and all! We hope you find this site as informative, useful and entertaining as we do!

If you haven't done so already, please take a moment to review the couple of guidelines we have in place by clicking on the The Recession Profile. From the main profile page you can also familiarize yourself with the many websites and resources members have recommended since this community started. Some of our personal favorites include Calculated Risk, Economic Cycle Research Institute & Jeffrey Frankel's Blog.

You may also want to participate in our LiveJournal Global Economic Poll - "The Economy Around The World: A Real Live Journal Global Poll" .

Archived entry: {As the economies around the world teeter once again, with many already having slipped into "Growth Recession" if not outright technical recession, and with many more looking at the real possibility of outright recession in 2012 and 2013, "the recession" in 2011 was seeming mild by way of comparison to what could be lurking just around the corner.

Will "Recession 2012" look as bad as "The Great Recession" of 2007-2009? Could we skirt by this time without a full-on economic death spiral? Will the economy get better by election day? Or will Obama lose the election for economic reasons? (Presidential elections are usually won or lost for base economic reasons in this country, after all).

Stay tuned. I think it's fair to say that it is going to continue to be a pretty wild ride for the world economy for some time to come.}

Gold Standard

Recession 2016
Recession 2016? Did the Great Recession end in the first place? Many think not.

The US economy began slowing down markedly in 2015, reflecting contagion and knock-on effects from the troubled global environment and collapsing world trade.

In 2016 recession is now on the lips of people, everywhere. The situation is starting to look increasingly dire. More and more businesses, and now more consumers, are looking to save money wherever they can.






Crude Oil 1Yr Chart




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Was your state in expansion or recession last year?
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What is the
definition of recession?


According to the laypress, and even many economists, a recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of negative GDP (Gross Domestic Product). While this very simple definition is usually the case during recessions, it is not always so.

Most experts now acknowledge that GDP alone is an insufficient determinant of recession.

For one, GDP is often revised several quarters - even years - later, as more complete information becomes available that changes the components of the earlier, initial GDP estimates in what can be very substantial ways.

For another, not all serious downturns exact as serious a toll on GDP. Often, the decline is much more pronounced in GDI (Gross Domestic Income) and/or employment. If the income or employment of a nation is undergoing a pronounced, pervasive and prolonged decline even if for whatever various reasons its GDP may be holding up, is it not foolish to deny that a recession is underway?

For these reasons and others, the NBER (National Bureau of Economic Research), the official arbiter of recessions and expansions in the United States, determines whether or not the US has fallen into recession using a much more holistic approach.

As the NBER explains it:
Q: The financial press often states the definition of a recession as two consecutive quarters of decline in real GDP. How does that relate to the NBER's recession dating procedure?

A:
Most of the recessions identified by our procedures do consist of two or more quarters of declining real GDP, but not all of them. In 2001, for example, the recession did not include two consecutive quarters of decline in real GDP. In the recession beginning in December 2007 and ending in June 2009, real GDP declined in the first, third, and fourth quarters of 2008 and in the first quarter of 2009. The committee places real Gross Domestic Income on an equal footing with real GDP; real GDI declined for six consecutive quarters in the recent recession.

Q: Why doesn't the committee accept the two-quarter definition?

A:
The committee's procedure for identifying turning points differs from the two-quarter rule in a number of ways. First, we do not identify economic activity solely with real GDP and real GDI, but use a range of other indicators as well. Second, we place considerable emphasis on monthly indicators in arriving at a monthly chronology. Third, we consider the depth of the decline in economic activity. Recall that our definition includes the phrase, "a significant decline in activity." Fourth, in examining the behavior of domestic production, we consider not only the conventional product-side GDP estimates, but also the conceptually equivalent income-side GDI estimates. The differences between these two sets of estimates were particularly evident in the recessions of 2001 and 2007-2009.

Q: How does the committee weight employment in determining the dates of peaks and troughs?

A.
In the 2007-2009 recession, the central indicators–real GDP and real GDI–gave mixed signals about the peak date and a clear signal about the trough date. The peak date at the end of 2007 coincided with the peak in employment. We designated June 2009 as the trough, six months before the trough in employment, which is consistent with earlier trough dates in the NBER business-cycle chronology. In the 2001 recession, we found a clear signal in employment and a mixed one in the various measures of output. Consequently, we picked the peak month based on the clear signal in employment, as well as our consideration of output and other measures. In that cycle, as well, the dating of the trough relied primarily on output measures.

Q: Isn't a recession a period of diminished economic activity?

A:
It's more accurate to say that a recession–the way we use the word–is a period of diminishing activity rather than diminished activity. We identify a month when the economy reached a peak of activity and a later month when the economy reached a trough. The time in between is a recession, a period when economic activity is contracting. The following period is an expansion. As of September 2010, when we decided that a trough had occurred in June 2009, the economy was still weak, with lingering high unemployment, but had expanded considerably from its trough 15 months earlier.




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What is a
"Double Dip Recession"?


In the most general sense a Double Dip Recession occurs when an economy falls back into contraction for at least a couple of months (usually at least six) after a relatively brief expansion.

By this definition, the recession of 1981-82 which followed a year-long expansion after the very short, two quarter's long 1980 recession, seems to qualify. Also by this broad definition, the 1937 recession that occurred four years after the end of the 1929-1933 recession also qualifies. While each of those were technically "new" recessions, they happened so soon after their predecessors that many people tend to think of the separate 1980 & 1981-82 recessions as one nasty, long recession. Similarly, most people think of the 1929-1933 & 1937 recessions as encompassing "The Great Depression."

Another definition of a "Double Dip Recession" would be that of a recession which technically has not ended, and was only punctuated by a quarter or twos worth of head-fake rise in GDP. Many recessions throughout history have had such false hopes, only to swoon back down into contraction, until they finally came to an end.

List of Recessions:
Post-1900 US Recessions

Mo/Yr Started Duration
Sep 1902 - 23 Months
May 1907 - 13 Months
Jan 1910 - 24 Months
Jan 1913 - 23 Months
Aug 1918 - 7 Months
Jan 1920 - 18 Months
May 1923 - 14 Months
Oct 1926 - 13 Months
Aug 1929 - 43 Months
May 1937 - 13 Months
Feb 1945 - 8 Months
Nov 1948 - 11 Months
Jul 1953 - 10 Months
Aug 1957 - 8 Months
Apr 1960 - 10 Months
Dec 1969 - 11 Months
Nov 1973 - 16 Months
Jan 1980 - 6 Months
Jul 1981 - 16 Months
Jul 1990 - 8 Months
Mar 2001 - 8 Months
Dec 2007 - 18 Months







What is
Gross National Happiness (GNH)?


An alternate measure of a nation's wealth was conceptualized several decades ago as a means of cutting through the overemphasis on materialism of traditional wealth measures, and seeing the bigger picture.

According to GNHUSA.Org

  Gross National Happiness (GNH) is an indicator developed in Bhutan in the Himalayas, based on the concept elaborated in 1972 by the then King Jigme Singye Wangchuck. Since then, the kingdom of Bhutan, with the support of UNDP (UN Development Program), began to put this concept into practice, and has attracted the attention of the rest of the world with its new formula to measure the progress of a community or nation.

GNH is based on the premise that the calculation of "wealth" should consider other aspects besides economic development: the preservation of the environment and the quality of life of the people. The goal of a society should be the integration of material development with psychological, cultural, and spiritual aspects - all in harmony with the Earth.

The Four Pillars of GNH

  • the promotion of equitable and sustainable socio-economic development
  • the preservation and promotion of cultural values
  • the conservation of the natural environment, and
  • the establishment of good governance.






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