A group that maintains the beginning and ending dates of U.S. recessions announced that the economy officially entered a recession a year ago.
The Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research met by conference call last Friday and determined that a peak in economic activity occurred in the U.S. economy in December 2007.
The peak marks the end of the expansion that began in November 2001 and the beginning of a recession. The expansion lasted 73 months. The previous expansion of the 1990s lasted 120 months.
The group defines a recession as "a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in production, employment, real income and other indicators. A recession begins when the economy reaches a peak of activity and ends when the economy reaches its trough."
The standard definition of a recession is two consecutive quarters of decline in gross domestic product. The committee acknowledged that the economy has not yet experienced two consecutive quarters of decline, but noted that the previous recession in 2001 did not include two consecutive quarters of decline either.
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