Not so fast, say economists, pundits on ABC's 'This Week'


Signs of recovery aside, TheNew York Times’ economic columnist Paul Krugman says we’re in “purgatory” as far as the economy goes.

“We’ve got a problem with terminology because we usually say either the economy is in recession or the economy is recovering,” Krugman says. “Either you’re in hell or you’re in heaven. The trouble is we’re actually in purgatory. We’re really in a situation where almost for sure the GDP is growing. Almost for sure, the business cycle dating committee will eventually decide that the recession ended this summer. But almost surely also we’re still losing jobs. The unemployment rate is going to continue to rise. We’re in that infamous jobless recovery state.”

“Still, what we have now is a whole lot better than seeing the end of the world six months down the pike, but it’s not good enough, not remotely good enough.

“There’s no evidence that this economy is doing much better,” agreed Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor and professor at UC Berkeley. “The best that can be said is that we’re getting worse more slowly and that is small consolation for people who are losing their jobs. We’re still going to be in double-digit unemployment in 2010.”

For what it’s worth, while the larger economy continues to languish, particularly with regard to unemployment, the media business seems to be coming back, albeit slowly. By some accounts, TV stations saw a better third quarter than they expected, although they had expected dismal results and what they got was something less-than-dismal and thus better.

Meanwhile, President Obama today demonstrated his continued faith in Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, nominating Bush administration holdover for a second term, according to Bloomberg News, which broke the story. According to the New York Times, “Bernanke’s nomination, while expected, comes after Mr. Bernanke has had perhaps the most tumultuous term of any Fed chairman, helping to steer the economy through its greatest downturn since the 1930’s. Mr. Bernanke is a Republican who was appointed by President George W. Bush.”