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The July 1990 to March 1991 recession was one of the shortest in U.S. history (8 months according to the NBER) and relatively mild: the jobless rate averaged only 6.1% during the recession and reached a high of only 6.8% by the end of the recession (although it continued to rise after the recession ended, see chart above). I think there is a general consensus that the 1990-1991 was nowhere near as severe as the three previous recessions of the 1970s and 1980s, and it's a fact that the 1973-1975 and 1981-1982 recessions were twice as long (16 months) as the 1990-1991 recession. And yet, as a follow up to yesterday's CD post, here is what the media were reporting about the 1990-1991 recession:

In 1991 the average American expressed more pessimism about the future than at any time since the Great Depression.

There is no question but this is the worst economic time since the Great Depression.

Sluggish economic growth this year will cap the worst three-year period centered on a recession since the Great Depression.

Forecasts for a weak recovery in 1992 suggest the period since 1990 will be the worst for the economy since the Great Depression.

....the worst plunge since the Great Depression.

The banking industry has plunged to its lowest point since the Great Depression.

This is the most severe economic dislocation we've had since the 1930s. Few are immune.

Mr. Barry, a past president of the Chamber of Commerce, said 50 For Sale signs are just the tip of the iceberg, since many bank foreclosures and repossessions do not carry signs. "It's not a recession, it's a depression," he said.

….with the US economy locked in a recession and more people out of work since the Great Depression.

....the worst (retail) sales period on record since the Great Depression.

This recession is hitting white-collar workers more heavily than any since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

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