The official dating of recessions is done by


The chronology comprises alternating dates of peaks and troughs in economic activity.

The committee is comprised of a small group of leading business cycle experts. business cycles dating back to the mid-1800s is available on the NBER web site.

This group reviews a variety of economic statistics and indicators of U. economic conditions before deciding on the turning points in the economy—business cycle peaks and troughs—that define periods of recessions and expansions. Official Recessions and Expansions The NBER web site describes a recession and the types of economy-wide economic data used to identify a recession in the U. economy as follows: A recession is a significant decline in activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, visible in industrial production, employment, real income, and wholesale-retail trade.

The broadest monthly indicator is employment in the entire economy.

The committee generally also studies another monthly indicator of economy-wide activity, personal income less transfer payments, in real terms, adjusted for price changes.

Expansion is the normal state of the economy; most recessions are brief and they have been rare in recent decades.