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This Just In…

Always in the vanguard, researchers of the University at Buffalo’s Center of Human Capital have reached a bold conclusion, according to a statement disseminated this afternoon:

Although no official determination has been made about whether New York State or the U.S. is in the midst of a recession, researchers from the University at Buffalo’s Center of Human Capital believe New York entered a recession beginning in the second quarter (March-June) of 2008.

Holy Jesus. No.

This prognosis is based on “an innovative recession-dating method they developed to forecast the start of recessions at the state level,” and the researchers report annually New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

Of course, the model doesn’t so much “forecast” the beginning of a recession as pinpoint the moment—in this case six months ago—when a downward-spiraling economy slipped past a statistical milemark:

Testing its dating methodology backwards, the UB researchers have been able to successfully predict the starting quarters of all the past recessions in New York State for which data on the indicators were available. According to the UB researchers, New York has suffered five recessions since the 1970s. They include the recessions of 1973-75, 1980, 1981-83, 1989-1992 and 2001-03.

I’ve no doubt that knowing when exactly New York’s financial crisis became a recession will be of some forensic use to policy-makers—though I imagine that, just now, they are more engaged by Governor David Paterson’s challenge to close the state’s predicted $47 billion budget deficit over the next four years.