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In the 2001 recession, we found a clear signal in employment and a mixed one in the various measures of output.Consequently, we picked the peak month based on the clear signal in employment, as well as our consideration of output and other measures.Q: Why doesn't the committee accept the two-quarter definition?A: The committee's procedure for identifying turning points differs from the two-quarter rule in a number of ways.The monthly GDP numbers are noisy and are subject to considerable revision. A: Since 1978, when the Business Cycle Dating Committee was created, there have not been any changes to previously-announced business cycle turning points.Prior to 1978, there were some revisions in turning points; see this article in the May 1975 Business Conditions Digest by Victor Zarnowitz and Charlotte Boschan.
Q: What data from the National Income and Product Accounts are used in the calculation of real personal income less transfers? Macroeconomic Advisers, a consulting firm, prepares estimates of monthly real GDP.A: The unemployment rate is a trendless indicator that moves in the opposite direction from most other cyclical indicators.Its level in February 1949 was the same 4.7 percent as in November 2007.The differences between these two sets of estimates were particularly evident in the recessions of 20-2009.Q: How does the committee weight employment in determining the dates of peaks and troughs? In the 2007-2009 recession, the central indicators–real GDP and real GDI–gave mixed signals about the peak date and a clear signal about the trough date.