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Q: The financial press often states the definition of a recession as two consecutive quarters of decline in real GDP.How does that relate to the NBER's recession dating procedure?On the other hand, the unemployment rate often continues to rise after activity has reached its trough.In this respect, the unemployment rate is a lagging indicator.In that cycle, as well, the dating of the trough relied primarily on output measures.Q: Isn't a recession a period of diminished economic activity?
Q: How do the movements of unemployment claims inform the Bureau's thinking?For example, in the recovery beginning in March 1991, the unemployment rate continued to rise for 15 months after the trough. In the current recovery, the lag was only 4 months, from the trough in activity in June 2009 to the highest level of the unemployment rate in October 2009.Q: What data from the National Income and Product Accounts are used in the calculation of real personal income less transfers? Macroeconomic Advisers, a consulting firm, prepares estimates of monthly real GDP.The differences between these two sets of estimates were particularly evident in the recessions of 20-2009.
Q: How does the committee weight employment in determining the dates of peaks and troughs? In the 2007-2009 recession, the central indicators–real GDP and real GDI–gave mixed signals about the peak date and a clear signal about the trough date.In the recession beginning in December 2007 and ending in June 2009, real GDP declined in the first, third, and fourth quarters of 2008 and in the first quarter of 2009.