Saturday, October 17, 2009
Senator Arlen Specter heard some welcome news when he chaired a hearing on the economy in Harrisburg Friday. The democratic Senator from Pennsylvania gathered six economic experts to talk about the economy, the impact of the federal stimulus package, and what sort of government intervention might be needed in the coming months. Mark Zandi, the chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com, started off his testimony with some good news. He says, “The recession—the Great Recession—is over. At least in a technical sense. GDP, the value of the things that we produce, is now growing. And we’ll have a better sense of that.” Specter asked if Zandi thought the recession was over and he responded in the affirmative. Specter reacted by saying, “We’ll I’m glad to hear that pronouncement with that authority.” Zandi went on to say the recovery will “be a slog,” noting unemployment will likely keep going up, until 2010 at the earliest. Zandi also thinks housing prices will continue to fall in the near future, even though the market has started to stabilize. Specter insists the stimulus played a role in that, and kept the country out of a depression.