Over the past year, a number of economists have proclaimed the recession's end. The media, too, have urged economic optimism, particularly in the last few weeks. At the New York Times, Floyd Norris argued that the economy is experiencing "a cyclical recovery that is gaining strength." This week's Newsweek cover story trumpets the valiant recovery of a "comeback country" now roaring ahead in post-recessionary times.
But a closer look reveals a far more muddled picture. In the first quarter of 2010, economic activity fell in half of the U.S. states, the number of national housing foreclosures jumped back near their 2009 peak, and household debt as a percentage of GDP, long-term unemployment, and income inequality are still at or near their historic highs.
Before you get too excited about the recovery, check out these charts from the recession's still lingering impact: