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MBJ Editorial

So, it’s official.

Months of speculation, anticipation and expectation have led us to this — dare we say it? — recession.

Last week’s news from the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) Business Cycle Dating Committee didn’t surprise anyone in manufacturing, which has felt tough economic times longer than other segments of the U.S. economy, nor did the announcement tell us anything new.

It just made it official.

The NBER economists’ research indicates that American business activity peaked last March. After 10 years of expansion — “the longest in NBER’s chronology” — a recession began. The question that begs answering is this one: How long will this recession last?

No easy answers there. Economists have offered scenarios with a recovery in the first quarter of 2002 to sometime next summer.

We are encouraged by this reminder from the NBER Web site: “Expansion is the normal state of the economy; most recessions are brief and they have been rare in recent decades.”

Encouraging words, and as we have pointed out on these pages in the past, slow downs in the economy offer just as many opportunities as challenges.

We remain confident that the nation’s and our state’s economy will rebound quickly.

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