Public sentiment says the recession isn't over. Never mind that the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), the arbiter of recessions, declared that the Great Recession of 2008 and 2009 officially ended in June 2009. An unrelenting pessimism constrains the recovery as consumers spend reluctantly while paying down debt, gripped by persistent fears of unemployment. The economy grew at a 2.5 percent annualized pace in the third quarter, according to the second estimate of real gross domestic product (GDP), a moderate improvement after two quarters of decelerating growth during the recovery. This tepid expansion has raised concern that things could get worse again before getting better and that the likelihood of another recession may have risen.