Friday, February 06, 2009

Job losses painful and will continue but not really a big deal, yet

Yes, losing another 600,000 jobs in a single month is clearly painful, and we will continue to see significant losses in the coming months, but there is still nothing about the losses to-date to suggest that we are seeing anything other than a significant recession. Sure, the job losses are a big enough deal to spur the passage of a massive fiscal stimulus package, but the resulting stimulus will blunt a significant portion of the impact of the job losses on overall economic activity.

The open question is whether enough of the stimulus will kick in within the first six months to actually prevent job losses and a gloomy business outlook from beginning to spiral down to the point where the damage to the overall economy does become a big deal and difficult to reverse within a couple of years. My suspicion is that the stimulus and other efforts (Treasury, Fed) will be enough to turn the tide. We will see in about six months.

In short, there is no depression on the short-term horizon.

-- Jack Krupansky

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