The 2007-2009 recession officially ended in June of 2009 (the second quarter). How bad was this recession, and how quickly is the economy recovering? How does this recession and recovery compare to previous cycles?
This page places the current economic downturn and recovery into historical (post-WWII) perspective. It compares output and employment changes from the 2007-2009 recession and subsequent recovery with the same data for the 10 previous recessions and recoveries that have occurred since 1946.
This page provides a current assessment of 'how bad' the 2007-2009 recession was relative to past recessions, and of how quickly the economy is recovering relative to past recoveries. It will continue to be updated as new data are released. This page does not provide forecasts, and the information should not be interpreted as such.
The charts provide information about the length and depth of recessions, and the robustness of recoveries.
The Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research determines the beginning and ending dates of U.S. recessions. http://www.nber.org/cycles.html
It has determined that the U.S. economy experienced 10 recessions from 1946 through 2006. The committee determined that the 2007-2009 recession began in December 2007 and ended in June of 2009. Ending dates are typically announced several months after the recession officially ends. Read the June 2009 trough announcement by the NBER.
The 10 previous postwar recessions ranged in length from 6 months to 16 months, averaging about 10 1/2 months. The 2007-09 recession was the longest recession in the postwar period, at 18 months.
The severity of a recession is determined in part by its length; perhaps even more important is the magnitude of the decline in economic activity. The 2007-09 recession was the deepest recession in the postwar period; at their lowest points employment fell by 6.3 percent and output fell by 5.1 percent.