NBER: U.S. economy in recession since December 2007.

The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) announced today that the U.S. economy has been in recession since December 2007. NBER’s Business Cycle Dating Committee — “which maintains a chronology of the beginning and ending dates of U.S. recessions” — explained:

The committee determined that a peak in economic activity occurred in the U.S. economy in December 2007. The peak marks the end of the expansion that began in November 2001 and the beginning of a recession.

A recession is a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in production, employment, real income, and other indicators.

In their release, NBER dispelled a persistent myth that was often repeated by the White House regarding the definition a recession saying that “two of more quarters of declining real GDP” are not necessarily needed for an economy to be in a recession.