Wed, Sep 22, 2010 - Page 1 News List

US exits longest recession since World War II era

AFP , WASHINGTON

The US economy exited recession in June last year, the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) said on Monday, officially calling the end to the longest downturn in more than half a century.

More than 8 million jobs were lost in the slump that was triggered by dodgy Wall Street mortgage investments.

US President Barack Obama said the end of the “Great Recession” would come as little solace to the millions of people who are still out of work

“Even though economists may say that the recession officially ended last year, obviously for the millions of people who are still out of work, people who have seen their home values decline, people who are struggling to pay the bills day to day, it’s still very real for them,” Obama said.

The NBER, a non-profit research group recognized as the arbiter of US economic cycles, underscored that slow pace of recovery, as it issued a statement confirming “the recession lasted 18 months, which makes it the longest of any recession since World War II.”

“The committee did not conclude that economic conditions since that month have been favorable or that the economy has returned to operating at normal capacity,” it said.

At the same time panel members warned economic activity could remain below normal well into the expansion.

Earlier on Monday, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said the US economy would grow at a slower-than-expected rate of 1.5 percent this year.

The Paris-based OECD said US growth would be far less than the 3.2 percent predicted in May and would increase to only 2.3 percent next year, raising the specter of a painfully slow recovery.

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