Economics Q & A

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1) The current recession is the longest since the Great Depression in the 1930's. We are still far from a recovery with unemployment at about 9.7% and weekly new jobless claims at 442,000+. In your view, are we about to grow out of the recession or will it continue? In addition to the unemployment data, support your positions with such economic indicators as: new housing starts, used home sales, GDP growth, etc. The current recession or financial crises began in United States of America and created a domino effect of creating instability in the financial markets the world over; the spark of this recession ignited fire around December 2007. Our current financial crisis is also known as sub-prime mortgage crisis and it occurred because of reckless practices of giving out loans, without backing them with security or collateral. Obviously this credit bubble that had been blown by investment and commercial banks primarily popped when loans started going bad and risky borrowings got exposed. The fall of Lehman Brothers was a major blow as it created a situation of panic. This was also accompanied by a fall in house and share prices. If we look at the latest statistics regarding the overall condition of the economy, there are evident indications of recovery. According to an economic report published in Market Watch (www.marketwatch.com), the US economy has grown at the rate of 5.6% during the last 3 months of 2009. According to the report, during the past year US real GDP had grown by 0.1%. It is said that the increase in this GDP figure should be associated with changes in inventories and not by final sales; in addition, on average the before tax profits have risen by 8% and a modest rise in consumer spending. A rise in business profit also indicates a probable rise in investments and increase in employment in future. Martin Feldstein, the former president and founder of the National Bureau of Economic Research, has predicted that the recession will end in the year 2010. Now coming to some facts, we all know that a rise in spending shows an increase in aggregate demand in an economy signified by a high GDP, this marks the end of recession. The following graph shows the year to year change in new car registration in UK. The graph clearly shows the fall in the % change in registrations in 2008 of around 25% to 35%, especially towards its end.
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