At the same time, despite the annual growth in real GDP in 2008 was positive (revised by 0.6% down, there were two consecutive quarters of negative growth. So, we likely observed a recession in 2008. However, it is too early to make a firm conclusion about the recession in 2009. One might fail as in 2001. Even the Q2 advance estimate of -0.8% is not the final reading. Figure 3 shows that the most recent estimates of real GDP growth are prone to the highest revisions. So, the past of real GDP is not well predicted.
Figure 1. The difference between annual growth rates of real GDP before (retrieved from the BLS web site at 6:00 31.07.2009) and after (retrieved from the BLS web site at 8:35 31.07.2009) the comprehensive revision. Negative differences correspond to higher growth rates after the revision.