It is time for me to put forth a prediction on the shape and form of when and where the present recession will end. Recall that The Futurist correctly predicted when the recession will be deemed to have started, about 10 months before the NBER arrived at the same conclusion. Also recall that The Futurist identified the housing bubble back in April of 2006, when suggesting such a thing could get you persecuted by fanatical home-owners.
I hereby predict that :
1) The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) will declare the recession to have ended in the window of July-Sept, 2009. However, they only declare this retroactively, several months after the fact. The recession will thus have lasted 20-22 months in total.
2) Employment will bottom at 130 Million jobs, which means that there are still another 3 million jobs to be lost (on top of the 5 million already lost in this recession). This the steepest fall in employment of any recession in the last 50 years, even after adjusting for the size of the workforce.
3) The Unemployment Rate will top out at 10.5% +/- 0.3% early in 2010.
4) Neither deflation nor hyperinflation will happen to any significant degree. No calendar year will have an inflation rate below -2% or above 5%.
A conclusion of the recession, however, does not mean the recovery will be strong. It will take many years for the unemployment rate to fall below 5% again. It is, however, absolutely necessary for Americans to reacquaint themselves with the notions of frugality and delayed gratification, and hopefully this recession has taught a suitable lesson to enough profligate gluttons that better decisions are made in the future.