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March 17, 2010

The worst recession ever

People know the current recession has been bad. But can we definitely say this is the worst recession in modern times?

Dr. Mike Walden, North Carolina Cooperative Extension economist in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at N.C. State University, responds:

"Well let's go back and compare recessions over the past 40 years, and I think the answer is going to be pretty much a yes. For example, reduction in gross domestic product, which is the broadest measure of our economy: this recession, down 3.8 percent. The next closest was the recession in the mid '70s, down 3.5 percent.

"Factory output: this recession, down 17 percent; mid '70s, down 15 percent.

"Percentage job loss: this recession, down 5 percent; down 2 percent for the recession of the early '80s.

"Decline in the stock market: this recession, down 54 percent; down 40 percent for the recession of the mid '70s.

"The one however, that really caught my eye was the reduction in household wealth: During this recession, the average household has lost 26 percent of its wealth. The next highest was the reduction of only 10 percent in the recession of the mid '70s.

"So, yes, I think we can clearly say that this recession when you consider all these factors, has been the worst in modern times."

Posted by deeshore at March 17, 2010 07:28 AM