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Third, we consider the depth of the decline in economic activity.
Recall that our definition includes the phrase, "a significant decline in activity." Fourth, in examining the behavior of domestic production, we consider not only the conventional product-side GDP estimates, but also the conceptually equivalent income-side GDI estimates.
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 do the cyclical fluctuations in the unemployment rate relate to the NBER business-cycle chronology?
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.The NBER business-cycle chronology considers economic activity, which grows along an upward trend.As a result, the unemployment rate often rises before the peak of economic activity, when activity is still rising but below its normal trend rate of increase.A: Most of the recessions identified by our procedures do consist of two or more quarters of declining real GDP, but not all of them.In 2001, for example, the recession did not include two consecutive quarters of decline in real GDP.
First, we do not identify economic activity solely with real GDP and real GDI, but use a range of other indicators as well.