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August 25, 2009
2:07 PM

CONTACT: Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR)

Alan Barber, (202) 293-5380 x 115

New CBO Numbers Paint Grim Picture of Economy

WASHINGTON - August 25 - While recent news reports have stressed a largely positive picture of the economy as it emerges from a steep recession, the new CBO projections paint a much gloomier picture of the economy over the next several years. An analysis from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) highlights the numbers from the latest budget projections and shows that the CBO data imply an economy facing a sustained period of low growth and high unemployment, the main cause of larger-than-expected budget deficits.

"The CBO now believes that the impact of the recession will be larger and longer lasting than its previous projections showed in January," said Dean Baker, Co-Director of CEPR and author of the report. "These latest projections show that the unemployment rate won't return to previous levels until 2014, more than six years after the collapse of the housing bubble threw the nation into recession."

The analysis, "CBO Projects More Severe Downturn," looks at some of the key implications of data in the new CBO release for unemployment, underemployment, lost output, and lost investment. The data indicate:

  • Unemployment in 2010 will average 10.2 percent
  • 12 million people will be underemployed - only able to find part-time work - or unemployed in 2010
  • A significant reduction in consumption through 2014
  • A cumulative loss of investment through 2014 of $600 billion

"If the CBO projections prove correct, millions of people will be struggling to pay their health care bills, cover their mortgage or rent payments, and meet other necessary expenses for themselves and their families," said Baker. "This means there is a serious need for discussion of ways to lower unemployment and stimulate growth, even if it means continuing to carry large deficits until the economy begins a full recovery."

The full CEPR report can be found here.



The Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) was established in 1999 to promote democratic debate on the most important economic and social issues that affect people's lives. In order for citizens to effectively exercise their voices in a democracy, they should be informed about the problems and choices that they face. CEPR is committed to presenting issues in an accurate and understandable manner, so that the public is better prepared to choose among the various policy options.


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