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What does "it" refer to here? RECOVERY FROM RECESSIONS

“In economic booms, it always picks up, but it never picks up as far as the previous peak,” Deaton said. “You get this endless downward ratchet. That’s something we really need to turn around, and it’s going to be hard.”

https://fortune.com/2021/04/12/taxing-wealthy-pay-for-covid-recovery-bad-idea-nobel-prize-winning-economist/

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  • The speaker seems to be speaking very informally and imprecisely. I think he just means the economy in general. We sometimes say "it" or "things" to refer to general conditions.
    – stangdon
    Apr 13, 2021 at 14:13

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"In economic booms, it always picks up, but it never picks up as far as the previous peak,” Deaton said. “You get this endless downward ratchet. That’s something we really need to turn around, and it’s going to be hard.”

We get the meaning from context that it refers to the economy, not 'recovery from recessions', though.

Strictly said, there is a pronoun-antecedent rule infringement as the pronoun it has no clear antecedent; if economic booms is used as the antecedent, the passage will be awkward.

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