The U.S. recession that wiped out 7.3 million jobs, cut 4.1% from economic output
and cost Americans 21% of their net worth ended in June 2009, marking the longest and deepest slump since the Great Depression. But even as the end to the recession was officially
called, a new report highlighted the weaknesses still facing the U.S. economy
The country's economy
has struggled to find its feet since that low point and still faces stubbornly
and slow growth.
The recession ended 18 months after the economy
began sliding into a downturn in December 2007, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research's Business Cycle Dating Committee, a group of academic
economists that determines the widely accepted benchmarks for U.S. recessions.
据美国国家经济研究局(National Bureau of Economic Research)商业周期测定委员会(Business Cycle Dating Committee)称，这次衰退从2007年12月开始，历时18个月后结束。商业周期测定委员会由一群学术型经济学家组成，所测定的经济衰退起始与终结时点被人们普遍接受。
The next-longest postwar slumps were those of the early 1970s and early 1980s, which both lasted 16 months.
The pronouncement comes as the economy
shows signs it has avoided a slide back into another swoon. Stock-market investors have taken heart; the Dow Jones Industrial Average has rallied more than 7% this month, thanks to better-than-expected data on a number of fronts, including housing, manufacturing and unemployment
. It rose 1.4% Monday to its highest close in four months.
The market's gains come after a bleak August, in which the Dow fell 4.3% as investors fretted that the economy
would dip back into recession.
Still, the National Bureau of Economic Research warned that its call of an end to the recession didn't mean it had concluded 'that economic conditions since that month have been favorable
or that the economy
has returned to operating at normal
The group said its determination
did mean that 'any future downturn of the economy
would be a new recession and not a continuation
of the recession that began in December 2007.'
While there are several short-hand definitions used by market participants to mark turns in the business cycle, the economists' group relies on a more complexformula
. It frequently waits some time before making its determination
s, as it seeks to use the most definitive data available.
SARA MURRAY / MICHAEL S. DERBY / MICHAEL R. CRITTENDEN