Business cycle dating committee of the national bureau of economic
The committee places particular emphasis on two monthly measures of activity across the entire economy: (1) personal income less transfer payments, in real terms and (2) employment.In addition, we refer to two indicators with coverage primarily of manufacturing and goods: (3) industrial production and (4) the volume of sales of the manufacturing and wholesale-retail sectors adjusted for price changes.Between trough and peak, the economy is in an expansion.Expansion is the normal state of the economy; most recessions are brief and they have been rare in recent decades.We view real GDP as the single best measure of aggregate economic activity. The traditional role of the committee is to maintain a monthly chronology, however, and the BEA's real GDP estimates are only available quarterly.
As a result, we tend to wait to identify a peak until many months after it actually occurs.
Although not all economic indicators had regained their 1979-80 peaks by the summer of 1981, the committee agreed that the resurgence of economic activity in the previous year clearly constituted a business cycle recovery.
Even so, the 12-month expansion beginning in July 1980 and ending in July 1981 was one of the shortest on record in the NBER's business cycle chronology which dates back to 1854, and the shortest since WWII.
According to the chronology, the most recent peak occurred in March 2001, ending a record-long expansion that began in 1991.
The most recent trough occurred in November 2001, inaugurating an expansion.