Can we just declare the recession underway and get it over with?
Latest GDP figures — 0.6% for Q4, and for all of 2007, a paltry 2.2%.
Considering the GDP deflator is so obviously rigged, because PPI and CPI numbers are so obviously rigged, it's safe to say we're in recession now. It might be mild, it might be severe, who knows? (The IMF is predicting 1.5% growth this year, but again, that's factoring in a bogus deflator.) The point is, we don't have to wait for the National Bureau of Economic Research to do make its six-months-in-the-rearview-mirror declaration. We're in a recession. End of story.
So how panicked is the Fed? We'll have a very good idea when its rate pronouncement comes at 2:15 PM EST sharp. Watch this space.