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New Report Analyzes Past Year's Recessionary Performance

January 7, 2009

We've heard before that the recession started earlier than anybody had thought. Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI released the following today:
A Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI report argues that the current U.S. economic recession began as early as January 2008 rather than in the widely presumed latter stages of 2008.
In The 2008-2009 Recession Began One Year Ago,Chief Economist Daniel J. Meckstroth provided four data points to support MAPI's contention that the recession started in January 2008 and that abrupt deterioration from the credit crunch in September 2008 merely dealt a final body blow" to economic growth.
While the general consensus is that two consecutive quarters of inflation-adjusted gross domestic product (GDP) confirms a recessionary climate, Meckstroth says the federal tax rebates issued in the second and third quarters of 2008 temporarily propped up economic growth, thereby keeping GDP positive, but quickly dissipated, and masked underlying weakness.
Analyzing four indicators - manufacturing industrial production, nonfarm employment, inflation-adjusted manufacturing and trade sales, and inflation-adjusted personal income less transfer payments -Meckstroth concluded in the report that the U.S. economy has been in recession since January 2008, consistent with the dating given by the Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and, in fact, is more severe than the recessions in 1990-91 and in 2001.
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