Wednesday, September 22, 2010

September 22, 2010

  If the United States had a motto, it might well be something like "Good times ahead."  A flood of new economic numbers suggest that's changing--that we may have to add some words like "but not anytime soon."
     The recession officially ended in June 2009.  But unemployment is still high and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development says it may stay that way until at least 2013.
     The OECD report says the U.S. economy has started to grow again.  It doesn't forecast a double-dip recession, but it adds, "We don't see either a recovery that is strong enough to put a significant dent in unemployment....It could be early 2013, at best, before the rate returns to it's pre-recession level."  It says the unemployment rate will average 9.7% this year and 9.0% in 2011.  I am old enough to remember the good old days when unemployment averaged around 5%.
      There is no silver lining here.  It suggests that some old assumptions--kids will have it better than their parents, for instance, or I'm looking forward to retiring on my pension--will have to be put on hold.  The economists are not suggesting that things will get worse than they now are--only that they will get better very, very slowly.  

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