Tuesday, 21 September 2010

US recession over, housing slump continues

The NBER has declared that the US recession ended in June 2009. Reuters reports:

The recession ended in June 2009, making it the longest downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s, the National Bureau of Economic Research said on Monday.

The NBER, considered the arbiter of U.S. recessions, said its declaration did not mean the economy had "returned to operating at normal capacity" and cautioned that economic activity sometimes remains below normal well into expansion.

If US economic activity remains below normal, a lot will be due to the fact that the housing market remains depressed, as Bloomberg reports:

Confidence among U.S. homebuilders in September unexpectedly held at the lowest level in more than a year, showing the housing market remains depressed following the expiration of a government tax credit.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo confidence index was unchanged at 13, matching the August reading as the lowest since March 2009, data from the Washington-based group showed today. The gauge was projected to rise to 14, according to the median forecast of 50 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.

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