Recession Deciders: ‘Premature’ to Call End to This One

Has the recession ended?The panel of academics and economists that officially calls the beginning or the end of a U.S. recession decided this one hasn’t ended – or at least it’s not ready to make the call.
Although it re-confirmed the beginning of the worst recession in decades: December 2007.
To jobless Americans or those finding it hard to make the mortgage payment, the date crunching of the National Bureau of Economic Research means little.
But to historians and politicians, the final word from the panel may shape future perspectives.
The NBER’s Business Cycle Dating Committee met on Thursday after reviewing “most recent data for all indicators.” The committee decided it was too soon.
“Although most indicators have turned up, the committee decided that the determination of the trough date on the basis of current data would be premature,”  the committe said in a statement. “Many indicators are quite preliminary at this time and will be revised in coming months.”
The economy registered growth again in the third quarter of last year after four straight quarters of declines in the gross domestic product, the basic measure of a country’s economic output. The NBER, though, considers other factors in a broader determination.
While the unemployment rate remains high, jobs are being created again – although at a very slow pace.
The committee added that it makes a determination based on actual indicators and “does not rely on forecasts” of peaks and troughs in economic activity.
The NBER has a history of coming in late with its official dates.  For example, it declared on July 2003 that the 2001 recession had it ended in November 2001, 20 months after the fact.

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