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The committee determined, however, that the fact that the broadest, most comprehensive measure of economic activity is well above its pre-recession levels implied that any subsequent downturn in the economy would be a separate recession.Identifying the date of the trough involved weighing the evidence provided by the behavior of various indicators of economic activity.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.Although the committee concluded that it was not necessary to invoke this rule to determine that the trough occurred in November rather than September or October, the rule strengthened the committee's confidence in its determination. The committee determined that the fourth quarter of 2001 was a quarterly trough in economic activity.The NBER also maintains a quarterly chronology of the U. For more information, see the FAQs below and the more detailed description of the NBER's business cycle dating procedure at Romer, University of California, Berkeley; David H.Economic activity is typically below normal in the early stages of an expansion, and it sometimes remains so well into the expansion.
These considerations indicate that the trough occurred in September, October, or November.For these reasons, the committee refers to a variety of monthly indicators to choose the exact months of peaks and troughs.It places particular emphasis on real personal income excluding transfers and on employment, since both measures reflect activity across the entire economy.The committee places less emphasis on the industrial production and real sales series, which mainly cover the manufacturing and goods-producing sectors of the economy.The committee also looks at estimates of monthly real GDP prepared by Macroeconomic Advisers.