1. Using a pencil or a crayon, draw a line from the end of the July 2008 bar to the end of the December 2008 bar. Notice how the line you drew slopes DOWN? That means the economy was getting worse during Bush’s final six months in office.
2. Using the same pencil or crayon, draw another line between January 2009 and June 2009. Notice the slope of the line you drew slopes UP? This means the economy was getting better during Obama’s first six months in office.
Now you could say in June 2009 things took a turn for the worse, but even then the June 2009 figure was an improvement over April 2009, so the overall trend holds.