“We’re not in a double-dip recession yet,” Robert Reich, a former member of President Bill Clinton’s Cabinet, wrote yesterday in describing the state of the U.S. economy. “We’re in a one-and-a-half-dip recession.”
The CHART OF THE DAY consists of seven data series that Reich cited to help make the case in a posting on his blog. It begins in mid-2009, when the latest recession ended according to many economists.
Consumer confidence, retail sales, home sales, permits for new single-family houses and the average work week have dropped, Reich wrote, while inventories of goods and homes are climbing. The chart displays government data on each of these indicators except confidence, where the University of Michigan’s monthly survey appears.
Reich, a professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley, also cited rising loan defaults as a sign of the economy’s half-dip.
Taken together, these indicators “should be causing alarm bells to ring all over Washington,” the posting said. President Barack Obama should demand a jobs program “that gets millions of Americans back to work even if government has to pay their wages directly,” wrote Reich, who was labor secretary under Clinton.
The posting also appeared on the Huffington Post and the Business Insider, a blog run by Henry Blodget, a former analyst at Merrill Lynch & Co.
(To save a copy of the chart, click here.)