Worrying about recession? Slow growth as new normal? More reasons to focus on opportunity.

We’ve written about the sluggish Q1 economic numbers and the possibility of recession raised by some writers. Washington still seems to be doing relatively well, but a national slowdown exerts a powerful drag even on strong state economies.

The Washington Post today reviews the numbers and provides a slightly different perspective.  

…it depends on what you mean by “recession.” If you’re talking about the usual rule-of-thumb of two consecutive quarters of negative growth, then, yes, there’s probably a 5 percent chance that we’ve fallen into one. But if you mean an economic decline that actually makes unemployment go up, then, no, we don’t have to worry about the r-word. We just have to worry about a new normal of slow growth that might dip into negative territory every now and then even during the good times.

Reporter Matt O’Brien concludes by noting,

Still, it’s never good when you can’t tell if your recovery is actually a recession.

True. But when that’s the case, well, we’ll just repeat what we wrote previously.

Opportunity Washington continues to promote policies that will boost economic opportunity throughout the state: a comprehensive transportation package, investments in education to close the skills gap, and prudent, sustainable budgeting. The Legislature can act to assure that the state and its residents are positioned to withstand economic headwinds from the national economy and to capitalize on the opportunities made possible by expanded economic vitality. We support those efforts.

And, we also will point out that the uncertain national economy provides yet another reason to budget for long-term sustainability.