Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic activity, fell at an annual rate of 1% in the second quarter. That came after a 6.4% drop in the first quarter, which was the worst drop in GDP since the early 1980s.
Many economists believe the economy may register modest growth in the current quarter. "There's no doubt that the speed of the decline has slowed," said Bernard Baumohl, chief global economist at the Economic Outlook Group. "I think the recession is history."
But the coast isn't completely clear. Ed Friedman, of Moody's Economy.com, worries about the tapped-out consumer. "The consumer is way down," he said. "And he's going to stay down because of the retrenchment related to delinquencies, foreclosures and unemployment.".