On September 20, 2010, the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), the institution that dates the peaks and troughs of business cycles, pronounced that the US recession ended on June 2009.
The NBER defines recession in this way:
A recession is a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales. A recession begins just after the economy reaches a peak of activity and ends as the economy reaches its trough.
We suggest that the NBER’s definition does not provide an explanation of what a recession is all about. Instead it describes the various manifestations of a recession. And this is precisely what is wrong with it.