SPECIAL NEWS (7-17-03)
*CAMBRIDGE July 17 -- The Business Cycle Dating
Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research met
yesterday. At its meeting, the committee determined that a trough
in business activity occurred in the U.S. economy in November 2001.
The trough marks the end of the recession that began in March 2001
and the beginning of an expansion. The recession lasted 8 months,
which is slightly less than average for recessions since World War II.
In determining that a trough occurred in November
2001, 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. 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 waited to make the determination of
the trough date until it was confident that any future downturn in the
economy would be considered a new recession and not a continuation of
the recession that began in March 2001.