What inning of the economic recovery are we in?
If you've ever driven a car for a couple of hours with a handful of young children strapped into their car seats, you've probably heard the line, "Are we there yet?" This question comes to mind when contemplating where we are in the economic recovery from the Great Recession that officially began in December 2007.
My answer? I don't know -- but I'd guess the fourth inning. This means we'll be lucky to resume quarter-to-quarter economic growth in 2011. To provide a bit of color on how I reached this guess, it's worth pointing out that my somewhat oversimplified instrument panel for measuring the economy takes into account five factors: changes in stock and housing prices, incomes, spending, and innovation-fueled economic activity.