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Looking at that, it would seem to say that the recession will certainly be worse, at least within the US, than the 1980 oil crisis crunch ... all of the prior downturns had an inflection somewhere in the range of -1.0% to -1.5%, while this one was just getting started in that range and there is no inflection in sight.

If we get an inflection now, we might hope to turn the corner at -5%, but -3% seems wildly optimistic.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Mon Feb 9th, 2009 at 06:14:34 PM EST
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I see your point, I just wonder if the data are sufficiently precise, and commensurate among periods, such that we could reliably detect inflection points or test for differences in their relative locations within the series. Chi-by-eye, you know!
by PIGL (stevec@boreal.gmail@com) on Mon Feb 9th, 2009 at 06:27:53 PM EST
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... frequency as macro stats go ...

... and even more to the point, the latest monthly employment figures release showed U6 unemployment at 15.4%, so this makes over a quarter that U6 unemployment been (1) increasing and (2) increasing at an increasing rate.

The rest of the employment statistics confirms what the percentage decline in payroll employment suggests ... at the moment, employment is in free fall.

If the Us stimulus bill passes, it will of course not be enough to reverse that movement, but it might be enough to slow the rate of descent, which would be something of use.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Mon Feb 9th, 2009 at 06:40:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, and we are looking at the same graph. I think the evidence is pretty conclusive that this recession will not be milder than the 1981 version. Equivalently, one could say it will be at least as bad as the 1981 recession. I'm not sure the evidence is yet conclusive that it will be markedly worse. A very short time will probably tell.  
by PIGL (stevec@boreal.gmail@com) on Mon Feb 9th, 2009 at 06:32:07 PM EST
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