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Alternative Measures of U.S. Economic Activity in Business Cycles and Business Cycle Dating


  • Bruce T. Grimm

    (Bureau of Economic Analysis)


The paper looks at the 10 recessions since World War II, and compares them to both monthly and quarterly indicators of general economic activity. It finds that four monthly measures emphasized by the NBER’s dating committee do not fully agree with the official peak and trough months, but that—as a group—they are in good agreement. Likewise, quarterly estimates of both real GDP and real GDI do not fully agree with all peak and trough quarters, or with each other. Nevertheless, together they are in general agreement with the official peaks and troughs.

Suggested Citation

  • Bruce T. Grimm, 2005. "Alternative Measures of U.S. Economic Activity in Business Cycles and Business Cycle Dating," BEA Papers 0052, Bureau of Economic Analysis.
  • Handle: RePEc:bea:papers:0052

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Joseph H. Davis, 2005. "An Improved Annual Chronology of U.S. Business Cycles since the 1790's," NBER Working Papers 11157, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Arthur F. Burns & Wesley C. Mitchell, 1946. "Measuring Business Cycles," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number burn46-1, January.
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    JEL classification:

    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General


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