3.31.2009

Minneapolis Fed offers recession tracker

The Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank has created an interactive presentation on its web site called “Recession in Perspective” that allows users to track the current recession against other post-World War II recessions.

The page can be found here. It includes data about the recession on a state-by-state basis, offering a look at the unemployment rate in each state for each of 10 recessions after 1945.

On a national basis, it also compares output among the various recessions. “This page provides a current assessment of ‘how bad’ the recession is relative to past recessions,” the creators write. This offers a perspective about the length and depth of this recession as it relates to those of the past.

The 10 previous postwar recessions have ranged in length from 6 months to 16 months, averaging about 10 1/2 months. The current recession has surpassed the postwar average, but its total length will only be known when the Business Cycle Dating Committee retrospectively determines the final month of the recession.

The site will be updated as new data are released.

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