The dating of the recession's beginning means we can say a few things now as "fact". This is the eleventh recession in the post-World War II era, but it is already one of the longest. The NBER announcement shows that our current downturn has lasted a year (and counting), and only two of the modern recessions (November 1973 to March 1975 and July 1981 to November 1982) have lasted this long.
With no sign of an upturn, it also looks like this recession is fixing to be the longest since the Great Depression.
And now that we when the recession began (December 2007), it's time for playback:
– “We don’t believe we’re going to have a recession though.” [Vice President Dick Cheney, 1/30/08]
– “I think the experts will tell you we’re not in a recession.” [President Bush, 2/10/08]
– “The answer is, I don’t think we are in a recession right now.” [Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Edward Lazear, 2/11/08]
– “First of all, we’re not in a recession.” [President Bush, 4/22/08]
– “The data are pretty clear that we are not in a recession.” [Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Edward Lazear, 5/7/08]
– “I don’t think we are” in a recession. [Director of the National Economic Council Keith Hennesy, 6/3/08]
– “I think we have avoided a recession.” [White House Budget Director Jim Nussle, 7/31/08]
– “I don’t think anybody could tell you right now if we’re in a recession or not” [Dana Perino, 10/7/08]
UPDATE: Dow fell 600 points on this news. WHY?!? I think we all were aware we were in a recession.