Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Dude, where's my recession?

This is the meme for those who have noticed that the American economy isn't as bad as people think. And for now, the truth is the American economy is in decent shape. The current data wrt employment and growth are ok if not especially great.

Nonetheless we should not break any arms patting ourselves on the back. The real problem with the economy is the widespread anxiety that things will get substantially worse starting from now. This anxiety is not at all irrational in my view. The credit crisis has more or less been weathered, but we are 50-50 at best to escape the weak dollar, and at the moment there is no answer at all for high oil prices or inflation.

Ever since the Great Depression, American economic downcycles have been milder and milder according to typical common measures. This one might be an exception.

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