- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 13, 2009

President Barack Obama’s top economic advisers split Sunday on the state of the economy, with one declaring the recession over and the other saying it would not be over until the nation’s unemployment percentage returned to pre-recession levels.

“Today, everybody agrees that the recession is over, and the question is what the pace of the expansion is going to be,” Senior White House Economic Adviser Lawrence Summers said on ABC’s “This Week.”

But Christina Romer, chairwoman of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers, sounded more cautious, setting a benchmark for the end of the recession as being in a more “normal” range of about 5 percent.

“Well, I’m not going to say the recession is over until the unemployment rate is down to normal levels,” Ms. Romer said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Job losses slowed in November, but picked back up this month, leading some economists to couch the turnaround of the recession as a jobless recovery.

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