Is the recesson nearing its end?

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - United States Chairman of the Federal Reserve now says the nation may already be in a recovery period, but is the local economy following suit?

Numbers are one thing, feelings are another story. That's where we seem to find the distance right now. At least one local expert says Birmingham may already be in recovery, but it may not feel like it for a long time to come.

Here are three reasons for hope from just the last 48 hours. Chairman Ben Bernanke said for the first time Tuesday that he believes the recession is "likely over," retail sales nationwide jumped 2.7%in August, and consumer prices reported Wednesday rose only slightly last month. Those are all positive surprises. So could we sneak into this recovery without even knowing it?

"We probably went into this recession a year, 16, 18 months before we every admitted we were into it," UAB economist and business owner Mickey Gee said. "So we've got the same syndrome working coming out."

Gee says Birmingham's economy may be growing again, especially because the southeast region as a whole is showing positive trends. But he knows it won't feel like it until you or your friends stop worrying about job security.

"When people start getting called back, I think you'll see the economy in Birmingham start picking up pretty quickly."

But try selling the idea of a recovery on the street right now, you won't get far.

"I think they're just not that much worse," said Birmingham businessman Terry Marshall. "People have to be a lot more cautious on how they spend and how they live, but it is getting better, we just have to work a little harder than we used to."

"I think we have a ways to go in all aspects of life," said event planner Allison Plemons. "I'm an event planner so I see business canceling Christmas parties, and not even scheduling them this year, so i think we have a way to go."

Plemons says that doesn't mean her hope for a recovery isn't improving, she's just not gonna take anyone else's word for it.

"I think people need to see it for themselves."