Despite Dennis Kneale calling the end of the recession, we may be getting ahead of ourselves with talk of "recovery". It's possible we're finding a bottom, but no one knows whether growth will return this quarter or next.
And when growth does return, the jury's out on whether we'll see a happy V-shaped rebound, or the ugly U- or double-dipped W-shape Nouriel Roubini cautioned against in his interview with Maria Bartiromo last week.
But it's a lock that corporate profits and productivity will lead, markets will follow, but job creation will lag — and probably lag much longer than in any previous recovery because of Obama Administration economic policies.
Recoveries from recessions follow a fairly predictable pattern. In a recession, with slack demand, firms shed workers and idle plants and equipment at a rapid pace in order to bring down costs.
In a nascent recovery, as demand is perceived to pick up, firms generally try to squeeze as much output as possible out of existing capital, rather than by reopening shuttered plants and hiring workers — both of which are extremely costly.
The result is an early increase in productivity growth and a spike in corporate profits, cheered by markets.