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The Mpls Federal Reserve breaks down the Great Recession, steady recovery out of it [GRAPHICS]

How did each of these guys do guiding America out of recessions? The Mpls Fed provides some answers.
How did each of these guys do guiding America out of recessions? The Mpls Fed provides some answers.

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In the words of one financial policy analyst, the Minneapolis Fed's new breakdown of the Great Recession and our economy's recovery from it might help you skip the election ads and use the facts to make up your mind.

A new comparative analysis of post-World War II recessions by the Minneapolis Fed shows that the 2007-2009 Great Recession was remarkably deep, and the recovery out of it has been steady.

This first graph shows how the unemployment rate recovered after recessions were declared over by the National Bureau of Economic Research. The green line represents the economic recovery after the 2001 recession; blue represents 1981; and red represents the current economic recovery, which officially began in June 2009:

The Mpls Federal Reserve breaks down the Great Recession, steady recovery out of it [GRAPHICS]
Mpls Fed


So as far as the pace of employment gains go, this recovery can't compare to 1981, but it has been more dynamic than 2007's.

The second graph illustrates the depth of employment loses from the start of recessions and subsequent gains during recoveries.

The Mpls Federal Reserve breaks down the Great Recession, steady recovery out of it [GRAPHICS]
Mpls Fed


The 1981 recovery again stands out, but that recession wasn't nearly as deep as what we recently went through with the Great Recession.

(More breakdown on page two.)

 

The third graph compares economic output during the same three recoveries, as measured by gross domestic product adjusted for inflation:

The Mpls Federal Reserve breaks down the Great Recession, steady recovery out of it [GRAPHICS]
Mpls Fed


Finally, this graph compares the depth of output drops beginning with the onset of each recession:

The Mpls Federal Reserve breaks down the Great Recession, steady recovery out of it [GRAPHICS]
Mpls Fed


The Minneapolis Fed writes that the 2007-09 recession "was the longest in the [post-World War II] period, at 18 months." It was also the deepest, as employment fell by 6.3 percent and output fell by 5.1 percent.

And since the recession began in December 2007 and was free-falling toward the rock-bottom level that would be reached in the summer of 2009, it's fair to say that much of the damage was done during the George W. Bush administration. So the Fed's data supports the notion that Obama inherited an economic mess of almost unprecedented proportions when he assumed office.

The data also portrays the current recovery as relatively strong and steady, lending credence to the idea that the worst of it really is in the rear-view mirror.

Is it enough to earn President Obama another term? For better or worse, that at least partially depends on how effective Romney's campaign ads are in winning over undecided voters between now and November.


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