David Miles begins by explaining how exceptional the current period is in two respects. First, the scale of the reduction in output during the recession is comparable to that experienced during the Great Depression. And second, growth during the recovery is expected to be only at around its trend rate, rather than above it. He says: "This is a very sobering picture; some might call it bleak. Anyway what it is clearly not is a standard textbook cycle when the lost output in the downswing is offset by what happens in the upswing.. This is one aspect of how serious the crisis and its aftermath have been".