Business cycle dating committee national bureau economic research

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The business cycle or output cycle is often visualized in terms of consistent expansions and contraction, almost like a sine wave.Actual fluctuations in real GDP, however, are far from consistent.BOSTON, December 31 -- NBER's Committee on Business Cycle Dating met on December 29 to review data on the recent performance of the U. The Committee deferred identifying a peak in the current U. business cycle until additional data confirm current impressions that such a peak may have occurred during the summer of 1979. Although forecasters are now virtually unanimous in predicting a recession in early 1980,the Committee's judgments in identifying turning points are based only on actual data (not on forecasts).Fiscal and regulatory policy, technology and demographics have also had an effect on the business cycle, as have external events such as the oil price spikes of 1973-.Expansion is measured from the trough (or bottom) of the previous business cycle to the peak of the current cycle, while recession is measured from the peak to the trough.

The Committee concluded that the evidence is not sufficiently strong at this time to determine whether or not a recession has begun or, if so, to identify the cyclical peak.

Previously the longest postwar recessions were those of 1973--82, both of which lasted 16 months.

Recessions can extract a tremendous toll on stock markets.

The program was organized by Zvi Eckstein and Ken West.

Selected papers were published in the The 25th annual ISo M met in Frankfurt, Germany, June 14-15, 2002, hosted by Otmar Issing and Frank Smets, the European Central Bank.

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