National Bureau of Economic Research (file attached) - 74995

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The financial press often states the definition of a recession as two consecutive quarters of decline in real GDP. How does that relate to the NBER’s recession dating procedure?

Q: Why doesn’t the committee accept the two-quarter definition?

Q: How does the committee weight employment in determining the dates of peaks and troughs?

Q: Isn’t a recession a period of diminished economic activity?

Q: How do the movements of unemployment claims inform the Bureau’s thinking?

Q: What about the unemployment rate?

Q: Are there estimates of monthly real GDP?

Q: Has the committee ever changed a cycle date?

Q: Typically, how long after the beginning of a recession does the BCDC declare that a recession has started? After the end of the recession?

Q: Does the NBER keep a record of when it announced the determination of the dates of peaks and troughs prior to those given in the Bureau’s website?

Q: When the BCDC says that the recession ended in June, is there a specific date in June?

Q: Does the NBER identify depressions as well as recessions in its chronology?

Q: Does the concept of a double-dip recession exist in the NBER’s business cycle chronology?

Q: Has the NBER previously determined a trough date prior to the time when economic activity surpassed its previous peak?

Q: When did the NBER first establish its business cycle dates?

Q: When was your committee formed?

Q: How is the committee’s membership determined?

Q: Why did the committee not declare the end of the recession when it met on April 8, 2010, even though, as it noted in its announcement, most indicators had turned up by that date?