Business cycle dating committe
the peak is not included in the recession shading, but the trough is).
“a significant decline in the level of economic activity, spread across the economy of the euro area, usually visible in two or more consecutive quarters of negative growth in GDP, employment and other measures of aggregate economic activity for the euro area as a whole.” A recession begins just after the economy reaches a peak of activity and ends when the economy reaches its trough.
Quarters of recession are indicated in grey, and quarters of expansion in white in the figure below.
The source spreadsheet of this chronology is available here.
Recall that our definition includes the phrase, “a significant decline in activity.” Isn’t a recession a period of diminished economic activity?The Committee’s sole objective is to characterize Euro-area economic activity: adopting a dating criterion that refers solely to aggregate Euro-area economic activity achieves this objective most transparently.For details of the data used by the Committee, click here.Its main conclusion is that since the last trough in 2013Q1, the euro area has been recovering at a slow but steady pace.
This post-recession recovery is commensurate with that of the US recovery, considering it began later, after the double-dip European recession that followed the global financial crisis. Since then there have been five complete cyclical episodes (recession followed by expansion).
As an example, the Committee has identified the period from the first quarter in 1980 to the third quarter in 1982 as a recession, despite the fact that real GDP was growing in some quarters during that episode and that real GDP was higher at the end of the recession than at the beginning.