A Happy Economic Forecast

It’s been a rough week for economic news and the prospects for this recession ending anytime soon. That’s why I think you deserve a happy face forecast. So without further delay, we have this from the Wall Street Journal’s Real Time Economics Blog:

It might seem preposterous, but some economists say it’s highly possible that the recession (which began in December 2007) ended months ago.

The latest to weigh in on the debate is Christopher Rupkey, the New York-based chief financial economist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ. In a note this morning, he says a V-shaped recovery — in which the economy not only recovers but rebounds strongly — is “maybe not as far-fetched as you think”.

“Consumers and businesses have postponed purchases for six months, the population is still growing about 1.2% per year, and if the unemployment rate is close to peaking, then growth may be firmer than expected in the second half of 2009,” he writes.

In case you haven’t been watching the unemployment numbers, Mr. Rupkey includes this chart to prove his point:

And it appears as if there is no end to his optimism. He doesn’t just see recovery, but robust recovery:

But Mr. Rupkey posits that the steepness of the current downturn means a snappier recovery — like the ones seen in the 1970s and 1980s — is possible now. Those downturns, he notes, “had real GDP recoveries the first two years averaging 4.7% and 6.5% respectively.”

I hope all of this makes you feel better!

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