Economy grows by only 0.6 percent in first quarter: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance: "WASHINGTON (AP) -- The bruised economy limped through the first quarter, growing at just a 0.6 percent pace as housing and credit problems forced people and businesses alike to hunker down. The country's economic growth during January through March was the same as in the final three months of last year, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. The statistic did not meet what economists consider the definition of a recession, which is a contraction of the economy. This means that although the economy is stuck in a rut, it is still managing to grow, even if slightly."
That seems right to me, just speaking as a consumer who has lived through a bunch of real recessions. Things are not good at the moment, but please don't tell me they are as bad as 1990-91, and for sure don't tell me they are as bad as the economic basket case years of 1976-1982. Just don't.