The Recovery

March 16th, 2012

While the decrease in unemployment is encouraging, it isn’t reflected in GDP data. From the Economist:

This is hardly the unshackling of a Titan. As befits a recovery characterised by such fine gradations as the distinction between modest and moderate, there are a lot of caveats. For one, gross domestic product (GDP) does not look nearly as healthy as the jobs data imply. The drop in unemployment since August is on a scale that would normally be expected only if annualised growth were up to 5%, according to Ben Herzon of Macroeconomic Advisers, a consultancy. In fact GDP grew by only 3% (annualised) in the fourth quarter. It is tracking 1-2% in the current quarter. Most economists still expect growth this year of only about 2-2.5%. That is roughly the rate needed to keep unemployment stable; it is not enough to reduce it further.

We’re in much better shape than we have been since 2008, but the recovery is tenuous indeed.