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The · Psychohistorian

Where's the recession?

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The government reported an economic contraction in the third quarter; revised figures show a contraction at a 0.5% annual rate - for an actual contraction of 0.1% - rather than the smaller 0.1% annual rate previously estimated. This could be the first of two consecutive economic quarters of contraction that define a recession - and if you believe the headlines, we're in a really bad recession, so we must be in a really bad quarter now.

Now, it's generally acknowledged that the recession hasn't hit New England, where I live. Our economy is strongly based on information technology, and that's a sector that's still doing well. That explains why I know of a lot of companies that are hiring - and not just for replacement - and few or none that are laying people off. I figured other parts of the country must be worse off.

For Thanksgiving, I visited my brother, who lives in Utah. His business is in New York City, which doesn't seem to have been hit so far. Utah seems to be okay as well. Now reports are that holiday retail sales nationally are up 3% to 7% from last year.

So where's this terrible recession that everyone says we're in?
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