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Recession? Well not yet, but check out housing starts!
Posted by: McQ on Monday, April 07, 2008

A little more "fun with charts". I borrowed a couple from Captain Capitalism (I don't believe he's related to Captain Sarcastic) and they're rather interesting in what they reveal.

First, are we in a recession? Not yet, at least not officially:


But, as you can see, we're certainly trying to get there. However, since the technical definition of a recession requires two successive quarters of negative growth (see shaded areas on graph), you can clearly see that definition hasn't been met.

However, look at this comparison between housing starts and unemployment:


Check out the shaded areas (recessions) and where housing starts were during those times. Then look at the level where housing starts presently reside on the graph. Note also that the unemployment rate, as is normal, lags behind the housing start trend.

With the rising unemployment rate, we're finally beginning to see the impact of the housing bubble on jobs lost. Per the chart and the trends graphed there, we should expect that to continue to rise. Couple that with the increased costs we're seeing across the board - driven mostly by rising fuel costs - and I would have to say the recipe for recession is definitely coming to at least a simmer.
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

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The housing dip from the Bubble is not the same circumstances as the housing dip from past recessions.

I mean its possible the housing bubble was burst for the some of the same reasons as well as others (speculation is a game of musical chairs after all)but it doesn’t necessarily mean we have recession magnitude downturn, yet.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
The housing dip from the Bubble is not the same circumstances as the housing dip from past recessions.
At the moment what it means is there’s no demand for new houses. Whether the reasons are the same or not, it has the same impact on unemployment.
I mean its possible the housing bubble was burst for the some of the same reasons as well as others (speculation is a game of musical chairs after all)but it doesn’t necessarily mean we have recession magnitude downturn, yet.
We certainly don’t know what the magnitude will be, but we do know, from the past, that things are lining up in a way to presage a recession.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net
We certainly don’t know what the magnitude will be, but we do know, from the past, that things are lining up in a way to presage a recession.
I agree with you in principle, McQ. But I also believe that any recession is in part the result of the constant attack of the Bush Administration by the Media and general punditry these past few years.

Much of the status of any economy is the confidence given it by the general public. The Bush administration’s record on the economy fares quite well with the Clinton legacy in the face of the aftermath of 9/11 and the "dot com" bear market. But the population has been inundated with virtual doom and gloom forcasts from the left for his entire term of office.

Admittedly, there are areas of the economy that have been driven into a bubble and sooner or later that bubble had to burst. But how much of this is merely a crisis of confidence vs a real recession. I find it interesting that the Democrats have been calling this economy in recession for the past two years but we have yet to see "the technical definition of a recession requires two successive quarters of negative growth."
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
"the technical definition of a recession requires two successive quarters of negative growth"

I think that is ’a’ definition of a recession. But not the defition according to others. I believe McQ is using NBER. Perhaps the former is too simplistic, but I question the value of any metric that would put a break between the recession of the last year of Carter’s Presidency and that of the early 80’s. There should not only be no break, but it should start sooner.

In fact a failing economy should be looking at the downtrend of some of those indicators and not the bottoms, themselves.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
(I don’t believe he’s related to Captain Sarcastic)
He’s the cousin of my Great Uncle, Captain Liberty, and second cousin of Captain Socialism, who’s brothers are Captain Fascism and Captain Anarchy.

Thanksgiving is a nightmare!

Whatever we want to call it technically, the economy is starting to smell pretty bad.

 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
People aren’t going to look much farther than pulling into the gas station to be reminded of the economy.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
I noted that housing starts took a serious dip in the 1960s (1966/7?) yet there was no recession. Do you know what happened then to make a difference?
 
Written By: kishnevi
URL: http://

 
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