Has the Recession Finally Ended?

Strong home sales are just one indicator that the economy may be on the mend.

ByScott Mayerowitz and Bianna Golodryga
June 03, 2009, 8:12 AM

June 3, 2009— -- The economy is showing new signs of life this week, especially in the housing market, the very place where the recession started.

Make no mistake, millions of Americans are still without jobs or struggling to pay their mortgage. But a wide range of economic indicators are showing signs that maybe the worst is over.

Many buyers are taking advantage of depressed real estate prices and an $8,000 tax credit offered to first-time homebuyers. The sales are a good sign for the economy because they show that many average Americans are now willing to get back in the game.

That's the fastest sales pace for new cars and trucks for this calendar year and a 6.4 percent increase from April's figure. Big ticket purchases -- such as a new car or truck -- show consumer confidence in the economy increasing, a necessary element to get out of the recession.

On Friday, the government releases the unemployment figures for April. Another 550,000 jobs are expected to have been lost last month and the unemployment rate is expected to climb to 9.2 percent. That in itself is not good news. But what is good news is that the rate of job losses appears to be slowing. The country might not add new jobs anytime soon, but at least the avalanche of pink slips appears to be easing.

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