At least that seems to be the meme of the day. Via the L.A. Times:
Clients of Bank of America Merrill Lynch (yes, that mouthful is the brokerage's official name now) can't say the firm is waffling on its economic outlook. "The recession is over" Merrill declared in a report Tuesday authored by Michael Hartnett, chief global equity strategist.
And Slate's Dan Gross:
in this season of doubt, I'm prepared to declare that the recession is really, most probably over.
Gross goes on to cite two forecasting firms "who are not connected to investment banks or to the CNBC noise machine" that see an upturn ahead.
There are also signs of positivity coming from the Fed. In the minutes of its June meeting, released today, the bank's internal forecasters paint a surprisingly sunny economic picture for the end of Obama's term:
Looking ahead to 2011 and 2012, the staff anticipated that financial markets and institutions would continue to recuperate, monetary policy would remain stimulative, fiscal stimulus would be fading, and inflation expectations would be relatively well anchored. Under such conditions, the staff projected that real GDP would expand at a rate well above that of its potential, that the unemployment rate would decline significantly, and that overall and core personal consumption expenditures inflation would stay low.
Maybe that yield curve was right after all.