Is the recession over?
Welcome to the end of the recession, said Brian S. Westbury and Robert Stein in Forbes. By the end of May, the economy should begin the long climb back, judging by the latest financial clues. Claims for unemployment insurance -- “probably the very best single indicator of the end of a recession” -- appear to have peaked in March. Also, consumer spending is bouncing back, and the housing market is “showing nascent signs of life.”
Tell that to Ben Bernanke, said Edmund L. Andrews in The New York Times. The Federal Reserve chairman says the economy has farther to sink before hitting bottom, which it should do later this year. Bernanke is starting to sound a bit more upbeat, but he is still making it clear “that many people will experience harder times in the months ahead.”
No matter where you peg the official end of the recession, said Matthew Benjamin and Rich Miller in Bloomberg, one thing is certain. “Post-recession America” will be no picnic. Hundreds of thousands of jobs in the auto and banking industries have vanished forever, so the nation may be “saddled with high unemployment” and low wages “even after good times return.”