CAMBRIDGE September 20, 2010 - The Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research met yesterday by conference call. The trough marks the end of the recession that began in December 2007 and the beginning of an expansion.At its meeting, the committee determined that a trough in business activity occurred in the U. The recession lasted 18 months, which makes it the longest of any recession since World War II.Identifying the date of the trough involved weighing the behavior of various indicators of economic activity.The estimates of real GDP and GDI issued by the Bureau of Economic Analysis of the U. Department of Commerce are only available quarterly.Apart from a random statistical discrepancy, real GDI satisfies that equality while real personal income does not.The committee also maintains a quarterly chronology of business cycle peak and trough dates.Real GDP reached its low point in the second quarter of 2009, while the value of real GDI was essentially identical in the second and third quarters of 2009.The average of real GDP and real GDI reached its low point in the second quarter of 2009.
Second, in previous business cycles, aggregate hours and employment have frequently reached their troughs later than the NBER's trough date.In particular, in 2001-03, the trough in payroll employment occurred 21 months after the NBER trough date.In 2009, the NBER trough date is 6 months before the trough in payroll employment.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.