A panel of wizard-hatted forecasters consulted by The Wall Street Journal has declared the recession officially over. But don’t break out the champagne just yet — unless you’re one of those gilded bankers we mentioned earlier. “We are in a technical recovery, but risks remain abundant,” Diane Swonk of Mesirow Financial told the paper. “It will still take some luck and skill to get Main Street to feel some of the relief Wall Street has felt.”
Of the 51 economists consulted by the Journal, 40 said the recession was over. However, they still expect the unemployment rate to go as high as 10.2% before dropping again, and expect the rate to hover above 9% until at least the end of next year. Six economists put the unemployment rate at 10% or higher as far out as next December.
So, what kind of recovery is this, without any job growth? One economist highlighted the “export sector” and “consumers spending more freely” than expected. We’re not sure which consumers they’re talking about, since most recent data show consumer spending remaining weak. Then again, maybe they mean the ones getting the million-dollar bonuses that Newsweek mentioned.