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Monday, September 20, 2010

NBER: Recession ended in June 2009

by Calculated Risk on 9/20/2010 11:31:00 AM

From NBER: NBER Business Cycle Dating Committee Announces Trough Date

The Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research ... determined that a trough in business activity occurred in the U.S. economy in June 2009. The trough marks the end of the recession that began in December 2007 and the beginning of an expansion. The recession lasted 18 months, which makes it the longest of any recession since World War II.

In determining that a trough occurred in June 2009, the committee did not conclude that economic conditions since that month have been favorable or that the economy has returned to operating at normal capacity. Rather, the committee determined only that the recession ended and a recovery began in that month. A recession is a period of falling economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales. The trough marks the end of the declining phase and the start of the rising phase of the business cycle. Economic activity is typically below normal in the early stages of an expansion, and it sometimes remains so well into the expansion.

The committee decided that any future downturn of the economy would be a new recession and not a continuation of the recession that began in December 2007. The basis for this decision was the length and strength of the recovery to date.
This is somewhat subjective - and I thought they'd wait longer because the committee usually waits until some of the key indicators have returned to pre-recession levels. This time no indicator has reached the pre-recession level, and some are still very low (like personal income less transfer payments).