I recently delivered a Webinar, Economic Outlook: U.S. and Key Industries, and got asked a very interesting question -- How will we know the recession is over? With Thursday's report that productivity grew 9.5 percent while the number of people added to the unemployment rolls hit 512,000 in the last week, the signals are not exactly clear.
But my answer to the question is that people can follow eight indicators to know whether we're out of a recession. My best guess is that these indicators will not all flash a green light suddenly or at the same time. But if you follow these indicators over the next few months and monitor changes in them closely, you may get some meaningful signs of whether the recession is over.
Before jumping into these indicators, there is one more thing. As I've posted, the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) officially decides when recessions begin and end and they dated the current one from December 2007 -- the month that jobs started shrinking. So that is one of the indicators that I am tracking. But without further ado, here are the eight: