Average length of Post-WWII US recessions = 11 months
Length of 1981-1982 recession = 16 months (July 1981-November 1982)
Length of preceeding two recessions in 1990-1991 and 2001 = 9 months (July 1990-March 1991 and March 2001-November 2001)
Length of current recession = beginning of the 13th month
So we can expect recovery to commence sometime around May since this recession could not be any worse than 1981-82 right? I don't know about that! We did not have a dysfunctional financial market back then. We do now and it is clinging to life by the unprecedented actions of the Federal Reserve. Is all the financial jetsom and flotsom going to be cleared away by May 2009? I am a betting man and I'll take all the action you got if you say yes. Recoveries are led overwhemingly by housing starts and spurts in non-residential business fixed investment. I don't mean to be a snit, but I would not look there for my salvation any time soon. Nationally there is approximately an 11-month inventory of unsold homes and I don't hear too many CEOs saying they have all the funding they could want for their next capital replacement project.
Moreover, the last two recoveries we have had were completely different than any of the other recoveries we had in the entire 20th century. The recoveries that began in 1991 and 2001 were the weakest and most drawn out we have seen heretofore. It used to be that the most rapid period of economic growth occurred right after recessions bottomed out. Not so anymore. The upshot is even if the economy bottoms out in 2009, do not look for a rapid return of vigous economic growth right away. Could we wind the clock forward to June of 2010 please? We are in deep trouble right now and I don't seem to be getting the message across.