The Good-News Pendulum

There is good news to celebrate. By most measures, the Great Recession is over, although the National Bureau of Economic Research—the official arbiter of economic cycles—hasn't posted an end date yet. NBER's definition of a recession is complex, but the commonly accepted definition is two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth. In the third quarter of 2009—after four quarters of contraction—the economy expanded 2.8 percent, thereby ending the Great Recession by common definition. That means we've likely hit bottom. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, jewelry sales rose 3.1 per-cent year-over-year in October. Prior to this recession, 3.1 percent growth would have been dismissed as anemic, and it's not terribly difficult to post an improvement over 2008's appalling results. Still, in an industry that's been battered harder than almost any oth

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