• 344 days Will The ECB Continue To Hike Rates?
  • 345 days Forbes: Aramco Remains Largest Company In The Middle East
  • 346 days Caltech Scientists Succesfully Beam Back Solar Power From Space
  • 746 days Could Crypto Overtake Traditional Investment?
  • 751 days Americans Still Quitting Jobs At Record Pace
  • 753 days FinTech Startups Tapping VC Money for ‘Immigrant Banking’
  • 756 days Is The Dollar Too Strong?
  • 756 days Big Tech Disappoints Investors on Earnings Calls
  • 757 days Fear And Celebration On Twitter as Musk Takes The Reins
  • 759 days China Is Quietly Trying To Distance Itself From Russia
  • 759 days Tech and Internet Giants’ Earnings In Focus After Netflix’s Stinker
  • 763 days Crypto Investors Won Big In 2021
  • 763 days The ‘Metaverse’ Economy Could be Worth $13 Trillion By 2030
  • 764 days Food Prices Are Skyrocketing As Putin’s War Persists
  • 766 days Pentagon Resignations Illustrate Our ‘Commercial’ Defense Dilemma
  • 767 days US Banks Shrug off Nearly $15 Billion In Russian Write-Offs
  • 770 days Cannabis Stocks in Holding Pattern Despite Positive Momentum
  • 771 days Is Musk A Bastion Of Free Speech Or Will His Absolutist Stance Backfire?
  • 771 days Two ETFs That Could Hedge Against Extreme Market Volatility
  • 773 days Are NFTs About To Take Over Gaming?
Another Retail Giant Bites The Dust

Another Retail Giant Bites The Dust

Forever 21 filed for Chapter…

The Problem With Modern Monetary Theory

The Problem With Modern Monetary Theory

Modern monetary theory has been…

Billionaires Are Pushing Art To New Limits

Billionaires Are Pushing Art To New Limits

Welcome to Art Basel: The…

  1. Home
  2. Markets
  3. Other

7 of Last 9 Recessions Started in Quarters with Positive GDP

Think recessions begin when GDP is negative? Think 2 quarters of negative growth are required to start a recession?

If you believe either of those, you are wrong.

The NBER is the official arbiter of recessions in the US. Here's a list of US Business Cycle Expansions and Contraction Dates by the NBER.

Using start dates I created the following chart.


Recession Starting Dates vs. GDP

Recessions Starting with Positive GDP


NBER FAQs

The NBER has a list of Business Cycle Dating Procedure: Frequently Asked Questions that inquiring minds may wish to read. This is a partial list:

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?

A: Most of the recessions identified by our procedures do consist of two or more quarters of declining real GDP, but not all of them. In 2001, for example, the recession did not include two consecutive quarters of decline in real GDP. 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. The committee places real Gross Domestic Income on an equal footing with real GDP; real GDI declined for six consecutive quarters in the recent recession.

Q: Why doesn't the committee accept the two-quarter definition?

A: The committee's procedure for identifying turning points differs from the two-quarter rule in a number of ways. First, we do not identify economic activity solely with real GDP and real GDI, but use a range of other indicators as well. Second, we place considerable emphasis on monthly indicators in arriving at a monthly chronology. Third, we consider the depth of the decline in economic activity. Recall that our definition includes the phrase, "a significant decline in activity." Fourth, in examining the behavior of domestic production, we consider not only the conventional product-side GDP estimates, but also the conceptually equivalent income-side GDI estimates. The differences between these two sets of estimates were particularly evident in the recessions of 2001 and 2007-2009.

Q: Typically, how long after the beginning of a recession does the BCDC declare that a recession has started? After the end of the recession?

A: The committee's determination of the peak date in December 2007 occurred 11 months after that date and the committee's action in determining the trough date of June 2009 occurred 15 months after that date. Earlier determinations took between 6 and 21 months. There is no fixed timing rule. The committee waits long enough so that the existence of a peak or trough is not in doubt, and until it can assign an accurate peak or trough date.

Q: Has the NBER previously determined a trough date prior to the time when economic activity surpassed its previous peak?

A. Yes, the NBER has done this before. For example, on July 8, 1983, the committee announced that a trough had occurred in November 1982 before real GNP had exceeded its 1981 third quarter peak.

Also consider Economists Scramble to Reassess Recession Odds.

 

Back to homepage

Leave a comment

Leave a comment