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After World War II, expansions were mostly associated with population growth, urban sprawl and the advent of consumerism.

The recession began in December 2007 and lasted 18 months, making it the longest downturn recession since World War II.This caused an uncertain economic climate during the first few months of 1998.However conditions improved, and the Federal Reserve raised interest rates six times between June 1999 and May 2000 in an effort to cool the economy to achieve a soft landing.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.The NBER's Business Cycle Dating Committee (BCDC) uses monthly, rather than quarterly, indicators to determine peaks and troughs in business activity, as can be seen by noting that starting and ending dates are given by month and year, not quarters.However, controversy over the precise dates of the recession led to the characterization of the recession as the "Clinton Recession" by Republicans, if it could be traced to the final term of President Bill Clinton.The recession in industrialized countries wasn't as significant as either of the two previous worldwide recessions.Some economists in the United States object to characterizing it as a recession since there were no two consecutive quarters of negative growth.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.


  1. The National Bureau of Economic Research NBER Business Cycle Dating Committee has been dating the U. S. expansions and recessions for the past 60 years. The members of the committee reach a subjective consensus about business cycle turning points, and this decision is generally accepted as the.

  2. Search the NBER site. Latest announcement from the NBER's Business Cycle Dating Committee, dated 9/20/10. Download Excel file with machine-readable chronology

  3. Answer to 1identify the onset of a recession, the National Bureau of Economic Research NBER Business Cycle Dating Committee.

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