Saturday, January 26, 2013

A bad recession and a terrible recovery

The UK recession of 2008-09 was a bit deeper than the 1980s recession but shallower than the 1930s one – and briefer than either. It was much deeper than the 1970s or 1990s ones: by historical standards, it was pretty bad.

But what about the recovery from recession? I find it hard to get too excited about whether the technical definition of a double-dip or triple-dip recession has been met: the overall picture is two-and-a-half years (so far) of stagnation. And it’s this that is so terrible by historical standards.

For about the first five quarters after the end of the recession – up to autumn 2010 – it looked like a normal recovery. And then it stalled. We haven’t seen anything like this before.

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