CAMBRIDGE September 20, 2010 - The Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research met yesterday by conference call. The trough marks the end of the recession that began in December 2007 and the beginning of an expansion.
At its meeting, the committee determined that a trough in business activity occurred in the U. The recession lasted 18 months, which makes it the longest of any recession since World War II.
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Following this, the paper analyzes what it would take to move the economy back to health—and argues that the alternative of continued economic stagnation is hugely wasteful and will exacerbate projected medium- and long-term budget deficits that have been a focal point of public debate in recent years.
Key findings include: The economy has gone five years since the beginning of the Great Recession without remotely approaching a full recovery.
Previously the longest postwar recessions were those of 1973--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.
A recession has many attributes that can occur simultaneously and includes declines in component measures of economic activity (GDP) such as consumption, investment, government spending, and net export activity.