Positive GDP Can Occur Mid-Recession

So far, France and Germany have had a single quarter of positive GDP.

This leads some ignorant pundits — those who never bother looking at the actual data — to declare the recession is over.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but that may not be true. The reality is that recessions can have positive GDP within them.

Indeed, just the most recent “normal” recession — *2001 — looked like this:

2000q4 +2.4
2001q1 -1.3
2001q2 +2.6
2001q3 -1.1
2001q4 +1.4

GDP percent change based on chained 2005 dollars (BEA)

Hence, the informed observer must acknowledge that we will not know if the recession in the US is over merely when we get the first quarter of positive GDP data.

Anyone know how France or Germany date their recessions . . . ?


*Note that the NBER dating committee describes the 2001 recession as running from March to November.

Recessions Often Begin With Positive GDP Data (May 2008)

A Positive GDP Recession? (July 28th, 2008)

Recession 2001: Business Cycle Dating Committee
National Bureau of Economic Research
NBER, November 26, 2001

Bureau of Economic Analysis

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