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The committee places real Gross Domestic Income on an equal footing with real GDP; real GDI declined for six consecutive quarters in the recent recession.
Q: Why doesn't the committee accept the two-quarter definition?
On the other hand, the unemployment rate often continues to rise after activity has reached its trough.Q: Isn't a recession a period of diminished economic activity?A: It's more accurate to say that a recession–the way we use the word–is a period of diminishing activity rather than diminished activity.Q: How do the movements of unemployment claims inform the Bureau's thinking?
A: A bulge in jobless claims usually forecasts declining employment and rising unemployment, but we do not use the initial claims numbers in determining our chronology, partly because of noise in that data series.
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.