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[mandatory -- read the whole article]
(CNSNews.com) - Although President Barack Obama said in a speech last week that during his time in office “we've gone through three and a half years of very difficult times,” the last recession ended three years ago this month--in June 2009--and since then the United States has been in an economic expansion period, according to the Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
The committee, comprised of prominent economists, is described by the New York Times as “the official arbiter of economic turning points.”
It made its official declaration that the last recession had ended during the month of June 2009 in a statement that it published on Sept. 20, 2010.......................
“The committee decided that any future downturn of the economy would be a new recession and not a continuation of the recession that began in December 2007,” the committee said in that Sept. 20, 2010 statement. "The basis for this decision was the length and strength of the recovery to date."
“At its meeting, the committee determined that a trough in business activity occurred in the U.S. economy in June 2009,” the statement said. “The trough marks the end of the recession that began in December 2007 and the beginning of an expansion. The recession lasted 18 months, which makes it the longest of any recession since World War II. Previously the longest postwar recessions were those of 1973-75 and 1981-82, both of which lasted 16 months.
“In determining that a trough occurred in June 2009, the committee did not conclude that economic conditions since that month have been favorable or that the economy has returned to operating at normal capacity,” said the committee. “Rather, the committee determined only that the recession ended and a recovery began in that month. A recession is a period of falling economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales. The trough marks the end of the declining phase and the start of the rising phase of the business cycle. Economic activity is typically below normal in the early stages of an expansion, and it sometimes remains so well into the expansion.”
The committee designated June as the month of the trough based on several monthly indicators. The trough dates for these indicators are:
Macroeconomic Advisers' monthly GDP (June)
The Stock-Watson index of monthly GDP (June)
Their index of monthly GDI (July)
An average of their two indexes of monthly GDP and GDI (June)
Real manufacturing and trade sales (June)
Index of Industrial Production (June)
Real personal income less transfers (October)
Aggregate hours of work in the total economy (October)
Payroll survey employment (December)
Household survey employment (December)
September 20, 2010 report