Well, it’s official: we’re in a recession and the recession began in March 2001.
That’s the headline in today’s New York Times (“Economists Make It Official: U.S. Is in Recession“) and many other papers around the country. “The group of economists that tracks business cycles,” writes Richard Stevenson in the Times, “made official today what has been apparent to laid-off workers and struggling businesses for months: the longest economic expansion on record gave way earlier this year to the first recession in a decade and the 10th since World War II.”
Only it’s not official. The report is the product of a standing committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research, a quite well-respected but also quite private organization of academic and private sector economists – facts which are readily available on the NBER’s website.
The Washington Post managed this one a bit better. “The U.S. economy has been in recession since March,” says the Post’s article, “the last month of a 10-year expansion that was the longest in U.S. history, a committee of academic economists announced yesterday.”
Guys, how ’bout some fact-checking on this stuff?