Uncertainty over end of US recession

IT IS too soon to determine when the US recession ended, the arbiter of US business cycles said yesterday.

IT IS too soon to determine when the US recession ended, the arbiter of US business cycles said yesterday.

"Though 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 National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) said in a statement.

"Many indicators are quite preliminary at this time and will be revised in coming months," the group said.

The NBER said its business cycle dating committee, a group of economists that pinpoints when recessions begin and end, had met on April 8 to consider whether it had enough data to call the end of the latest slump.

The group looks at a range of indicators, not just gross domestic product, to determine when business cycles begin and end.

During the last recession, which ended in November 2001, the NBER waited until July 2003 to make the determination, in part because unemployment continued to rise well after the business cycle had turned.

Many private economists think the downturn probably ended in June last year or perhaps a couple of months later.

The economy resumed growth in the third quarter of 2009, although employment continued to contract for several more months.

The NBER defines a recession as a "significant decline in 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". - Reuters

X