Review and outlook: 1981-82
In early 1982, the nation remained in the grip of a painful business recession that began in the spring or summer of 1981. The Midwest, with its heavy concentration of durable goods manufacturing, was the region of the country most severely affected. Declines in production were reported for most types of manufacturing, agriculture, trade, transportation, and even government. Coming on the heels of the downturn that ended in the second quarter of 1980, the 1981 recession was an unprecedented second recession in two years. Moreover, in contrast with most downturns of the past, the 1981 recession began at a time when the economy had significant margins of unused capacity, both material and human.