DUDE, WHERE’S MY RECESSION? (CONT’D): “Federal Reserve officials marked up their outlook for inflation and economic growth in their latest projections. . . . At the June policy meeting, officials projected that the rate of economic growth by the end of the year would be between 1% and 1.6%, up from 0.3% to 1.2% in their April estimates.”

Are there economic issues, relating to high energy prices and idiotic loan portfolios? Yes. But does that constitute a recession? Nope.

UPDATE: A reader who prefers anonymity emails:


The looming recession is not a fabrication of the election-focussed MSM. It is real, and it is scary.

Start with the fact that since WWII there has never been negative YOY gasoline demand without a recession, understand that if hydrocarbon prices merely held at these levels, toal energy prices would continue to rise for 3 years due to the lags of utilities and pasing along input costs (natural gas and coal, which have both doubled in the past 6 months and haven’t taken even the first bites out of pocketbooks yet), and then realize these energy headwinds are childs’ play compared to the contraction of credit that will slow down all businesses’ investments. I fear your “Dude, Where’s My Recession” series trivializes the inevitable pain that has only been temporarily delayed by the massive 2Q08 fiscal stimulus package of tax rebates.

My profession as an energy analyst and portfolio manager prohiits me from being quoted in your blog (so please don’t attribute anything to me, even if you were so inclined to print my perspective) but I worry that in 6 months, there is a very high probability you will regret your cavalier attitude towards significant weakening of the underpinnings of our economy–namely consumer spending, available credit and accessible liquidity.

A future recession? Quite possibly. We’re overdue — and, of course, people who predict recession are bound to be right eventually. But a present recession — much less one over the past year — not so much. If there’s a recession next year, it won’t retroactively justify bogus claims of a recession last year.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Related thoughts from Matt Welch. My own prediction: If Obama is elected in November, the press will spend a lot of time explaining why a recession is actually a good thing for America!

MORE: Link was wrong before — fixed now. Sorry!

STILL MORE: The inflation numbers, on the other hand, don’t look so good. (Via Newsalert.).