The worst U.S. recession since the Great Depression ended in June 2009, the National Bureau of Economic Research said yesterday, as a slowdown in economic growth raises the possibility of another slump.
“We are still expanding, but disappointingly slowly,” Robert Hall, a Stanford University economics professor who heads the NBER committee charged with dating business cycles, said in an interview. “It’s still too early to tote up the cost, given that we are still far from recovered from its effects. It’s definitely the worst apart from the Depression, which was far, far worse.”
The decision came as Federal Reserve policy-makers meet this week to consider whether new measures to boost growth are needed and the Obama administrations proposes additional fiscal stimulus. Bruce Kasman is among economists projecting that the world’s largest economy will not grow enough to lower joblessness, which has been hovering near 10 percent.
“It’s a recovery that feels fragile and still raises questions about the risks to its sustainability,” Kasman, chief economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in New York, said in an interview. “We’re seeing job growth, but it hasn’t been robust. A year from now, we expect the unemployment rate will be pretty much where it is.”
The odds of the economy falling back into another recession are about 25 percent, Kasman said.