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Defining the Recession

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Jeffrey Coolidge / Getty Images

The New York Times writes there is no official definition of a recession, and no official body to announce when one starts or ends.  Still, recessions are often described as two or more quarters of a declining gross domestic product (GDP).

The National Bureau of Economic Research, a private, non-partisan group based in Cambridge, Mass., does not define a recession based on declining GDP.

“Rather, a recession is a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales.” – National Bureau of Economic Research

The NBER says the latest recession began December 1, 2007 and ended in June 2009.

Latest Posts

Idaho’s GDP Ticks Up Slightly, Though Still Behind Most States

Click on the map to enlarge.

Idaho’s real gross domestic product inched up less than a percentage point from 2011 to 2012. New data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis show Idaho’s GDP grew four-tenths of a percent last year. Five states measured slower growth; Wyoming, New Mexico, South Dakota, Delaware, and Connecticut. Connecticut was the only U.S. [...]

In Boise, Too, Home Prices Show Quick Growth

House for sale

Single-family home prices rose by 9.3 percent in February compared to a year earlier, their fastest rate of growth in nearly seven years. That’s according to the S&P/Case-Shiller index, which is based on 20 metropolitan areas, not including Boise. Data from the Intermountain Multiple Listing Service show single-family home prices in Ada and Canyon counties [...]

U.S. Bank Shareholder Meeting Brings Protesters to Boise

Protestors held letters spelling "U.S. Bank Is Stripping Our Wealth."

About 40 demonstrators turned out as U.S. Bank held its annual shareholders’ meeting at Boise State University’s Morrison Center today. Protesters lined up outside one entrance, shouting a steady stream of chants: “Banks got bailed out, we got sold out!” and “Hey, hey, it’s not fair! U.S. Bank, pay your share!” At last year’s shareholder [...]

One Idaho Investor Watches His Bet On Gold Go South

Gold bars

Thanks to a $29,000 investment in gold, Pocatello man Jon Norstog got a nod in the paper of record this week. Norstog’s nest egg may still shine, but since 2011 it has lost 42 percent of its value. “I thought if worst came to worst and the government brought down the world economy, I would [...]

Foreclosed Homeowners To Receive First Round Of Settlement Payments

Houses Surburban Neighborhood

We’ve noticed how many people are coming to this post. Would some of you like to help us with our future reporting? We’d like to talk to people in Idaho who receive settlement checks. If you receive one and you’re open to telling us about your experience, please send us an email. Idahoans who lost [...]

Personal Income Grows, But Idahoan’s Earnings Still Fall Short

Idaho’s per capita personal income increased by $868 in 2012. That’s a 3.3 percent increase over 2011, and it boosts annual earnings above their 2008 peak. But the change wasn’t enough to narrow the gap between the net incomes of Idahoans and Americans at large. The annual personal income data released today from the U.S. [...]

Idaho’s Income Gap Continues To Grow

On Wednesday, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis will release personal income data for 2012. In anticipation of that release, StateImpact Idaho pulled together personal income data going back to 1990 and compared it with the U.S. average. The data show a widening gap between Idaho and the country as a whole. Source: Bureau of [...]

Is Idaho Winning A Race To The Economic Bottom? That Depends On Who You Ask

Mike Ferguson spoke to Boise's City Club on March 13, 2013.

Many of Idaho’s monthly and quarterly economic indicators are good. The state’s unemployment rate has dropped steadily, tax collections are on-par with forecasts, gross state product is growing, and so are incomes. But economist Mike Ferguson says it’s not that simple. To get a true sense of where Idaho stands economically, Ferguson says, it’s important [...]

How Investor-Buyers Shaped One Boise Housing Development Hit Hard In The Downturn

A "For Rent" sign stood in front of a home in Charter Pointe last week.

It’s clear that residential real estate investors played a role in the boom and bust in Idaho’s housing market. Realtors tell stories of receiving call after call from out-of-state speculators attracted by Idaho’s high growth rate and low cost of housing. Yesterday, we reported on a southwest Boise subdivision called Charter Pointe that’s still reeling [...]

Boise’s Housing Bust Leaves Unlikely Victims In A Neighborhood That Saw The Worst

Ryan, Scott and Tara Arellano, at home in their kitchen

Homeowners, credit intact, still making their monthly mortgage payments.  They’re not who we think of first when we think of the damage brought on by the housing crisis. But in a sprawling, master-planned southwest Boise subdivision called Charter Pointe, they’re a group that has struggled. More than most cities, Boise felt the brunt of the [...]

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