Yet to hit bottom

One way to tell the length of an economic downturn is to examine signs of recovery. In recessions past, whenever important stats began to "bottom out" (ie declined at a very slow rate), economic growth would be positive and unemployment would, eventually, reach a peak and then decline. Check out the following graph:

As you can see, unemployment usually continues to increase once a recession is over, but reaches a peak a while afterwards. This particular phenomenon, however, is only true of the last two recessions. Previous to this, unemployment peaked pretty much at the same time as a recession officially ended (see here).

Assuming that this phenomenon continues, can we see any sign of stats "bottoming out"? Not really. Calculated Risk, which reports on stats on a daily basis, continues to broadcast economic woe:
For the US, at least, 2009 Q1 seems to be an economic contraction. The recent stimulus package should have some impact both on stats and economic growth, and it is possible that Q2 will see some growth as a result. I still predict at least two quarters of negative growth for 2009 though.

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