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Is the Recession Over or Not?

Written By Brian Hicks

Posted December 14, 2009

According to two White House economic advisors, yes and no.

According to Larry Summers, “everybody agrees the recession is over… These things happen in stages. First, GDP goes up. That has happened. Then, hours that are worked by workers who already have jobs go up. That’s starting to happen. Then employment goes up. We got very close to that this year, this month, with only 11,000 jobs lost. And then unemployment starts to come down. So these problems weren’t made in a month or a year, and they are going to take a substantial time to solve.”

“But what we can take satisfaction from is that we’ve walked back from the brink. And you know, forget what we say. Most professional forecasters are now looking for a return to job growth by spring,” he said.

But according to Christina Romer, “of course [we’re} not [out of recession]. We have — you know, for — for the people on Main Street and throughout this country, they are still suffering. The unemployment rate is still 10 percent.”

Sadly, not only does the clash speak to the differing economic opinions in the Obama circle, but to the contrasting signals of the economy. And we’re all left to figure out what the heck i’s going on.. because people in the White House certainly can’t.

So, if you’ve ever wondered why the market is insane these days, and for the past few months, it’s because no one has any idea of what’s happening with this economy. While I’d like to agree with Summers, and hope that he’s right, you can’t ignore the problems underlying our economic system.

The only known known is that there’s an incredible disconnect between these two advisors.