Provides an examination of the scope of the great recession and policies that focus on recovery.
This report describes the severity of the 2008-2009 recession and explores the following questions: Is sustained economic recovery underway? What is the shape of the economic recovery? Does this recovery have demand side problems or supply side problems? Lastly, what are the lessons from the Great Recession? (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)

Major Findings & Recommendations

Major findings related to present and future economic recovery are described. SUSTAINED RECOVERY: Evidence indicates that the economy, as measured by real GDP growth, began to recover in mid- 2009. However, the pace of growth has been slow and uneven with a pronounced deceleration evident during 2011. During 2009 and 2010, growth had been sustained by transitory factors, such as fiscal stimulus and the rebuilding of inventories by business. Economic growth in 2010 showed signs of being generated by more sustainable forces, but the strength of those forces continues to be uneven, and a slowing of growth during 2011 prompted concern about the recovery’s sustainability (p. 3). THE SHAPE OF ECONOMIC RECOVERY: "There is concern, however, that this time the U.S. economy, without supporting stimulus from policy actions, will either not return to its pre-recession growth path, perhaps remain permanently below it, or return to the pre-crisis path but at a slower than normal pace, or worse, dip into a second recession. Below normal growth would almost certainly translate into below normal recovery of employment, whereas a second round of recession could increase the already high unemployment rate" (p. 6). ECONOMIC PROJECTIONS: "Given the unusually large deterioration of the balance sheets of households and businesses, the possible reduction of the U.S. economy’s level of potential output, the weakened state of the global economy, and uncertainty about fiscal policy, projections of the U.S. economy’s near-term path carry a higher than normal degree of uncertainty. During 2012, most economic forecasters have steadily trimmed their growth projections as it became ever more evident that the economy seemed to be only “treading water,” particularity in labor markets. Nevertheless, most forecasters expect the U.S. economic recovery to continue, albeit at a distressingly slow pace". (p. 23) (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)