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Research Highlights

Watch the Economic Recovery in Real Time

By Thomas Cooley, Paganelli-Bull Professor of Economics & Peter Rupert

cooley rupert economic snapshot

Our view is that the best way to characterize the current state of the economy is to present the data in a way that allows comparison to the other post-1970 business cycles.

Taking the pulse of the economic recovery is difficult even for economics enthusiasts. The data don’t lie, the only problem is identifying and then interpreting the appropriate figures—and the trick is managing this in real time.

NYU Stern Economics Professor Thomas F. Cooley and UCSB Economics Professor Peter Rupert do it for you. Their Cooley-Rupert Economic Snapshot, wraps up the data in easy-to-read charts and succinct, plain-English discussions, delivering snapshots of the relevant factors in the economic recovery each time new data is available.

Continuous Updating

The paths of all the series presented are plotted relative to the their value at the peak of the respective business cycles, according to the dates identified by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

The data are presented in four sections and updated continuously. The first summarizes the path of Gross Domestic Product and its components – Consumption, Investment and Government Spending – and some relevant subcomponents. The next section summarizes the labor market and its important indicators. The third section shows the activity in credit markets and the final section summarizes the features of industrial production and inflation.

“There has been much discussion of the current cycle as a ‘Great Recession’ and many over-stretched comparisons to the Great Depression,” says Cooley. “Our view is that the best way to characterize the current state of the economy is to present the data in a way that allows comparison to the other post-1970 business cycles.”