Re: [OPE] defining 'recession'

From: Gerald Levy <>
Date: Tue Dec 02 2008 - 19:12:07 EST

> Just a little query for you all: do I recall correctly that recessions are defined in terms of GDP growth?

Hi Paul A:

That's quite a timely question! Just the other day, the Business Cycle Dating Committee of the
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) issued a report in which this very topic was
discussed. It is *attached*. You can see that the NBER is quite critical of the conventional
measure and uses a mix of alternative indicators including statistics relating to employment,
industrial production, real personal income, and real manufacturing and wholesale-retail trade sales.

The upshot of this is that, according to the NBER, the US economy has been in a recession for
about a year already.

In solidarity, Jerry

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Received on Tue Dec 2 19:14:19 2008

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