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In particular, in 2001-03, the trough in payroll employment occurred 21 months after the NBER trough date.
In 2009, the NBER trough date is 6 months before the trough in payroll employment.
It places particular emphasis on measures that refer to the total economy rather than to particular sectors.
These include a measure of monthly GDP that has been developed by the private forecasting firm Macroeconomic Advisers, measures of monthly GDP and GDI that have been developed by two members of the committee in independent research (James Stock and Mark Watson, (available here), real personal income excluding transfers, the payroll and household measures of total employment, and aggregate hours of work in the total economy.
Previously the longest postwar recessions were those of 1973--82, both of which lasted 16 months.
In determining that a trough occurred in June 2009, 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.
The trough dates for these indicators are: Macroeconomic Advisers' monthly GDP (June) The Stock-Watson index of monthly GDP (June) Their index of monthly GDI (July) An average of their two indexes of monthly GDP and GDI (June) Real manufacturing and trade sales (June) Index of Industrial Production (June) Real personal income less transfers (October) Aggregate hours of work in the total economy (October) Payroll survey employment (December) Household survey employment (December) The committee concluded that the choice of June 2009 as the trough month for economic activity was consistent with the later trough months in the labor-market indicators–aggregate hours and employment–for two reasons.
First, the strong growth of quarterly real GDP and real GDI in the fourth quarter was inconsistent with designating any month in the fourth quarter as the trough month.
Movements in these series can provide useful additional information when the broader measures are ambiguous about the date of the monthly peak or trough.
Identifying the date of the trough involved weighing the behavior of various indicators of economic activity.
The estimates of real GDP and GDI issued by the Bureau of Economic Analysis of the U. Department of Commerce are only available quarterly.
There is no fixed rule about what weights the committee assigns to the various indicators, or about what other measures contribute information to the process.
The committee concluded that the behavior of the quarterly series for real GDP and GDI indicates that the trough occurred in mid-2009.
The committee waited to make its decision until revisions in the National Income and Product Accounts, released on July 30 and August 27, 2010, clarified the 2009 time path of the two broadest measures of economic activity, real Gross Domestic Product (real GDP) and real Gross Domestic Income (real GDI).