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The committee decided that any future downturn of the economy would be a new recession and not a continuation of the recession that began in December 2007.
The basis for this decision was the length and strength of the recovery to date.
The committee concluded that strong growth in both real GDP and real GDI in the fourth quarter of 2009 ruled out the possibility that the trough occurred later than the third quarter.
The committee designated June as the month of the trough based on several monthly indicators.
In particular, in 2001-03, the trough in payroll employment occurred 21 months after the NBER trough date.
In 2009, the NBER trough date is 6 months before the trough in payroll employment.
The first was described above -- the fact that quarterly real GDP and GDI rose strongly in the fourth quarter.The trough marks the end of the declining phase and the start of the rising phase of the business cycle.Economic activity is typically below normal in the early stages of an expansion, and it sometimes remains so well into the expansion.The second was that real GDI is a more comprehensive measure of income than real personal income less transfers, as it includes additional sources of income such as undistributed corporate profits.The committee's use of income-side measures, notably real GDI, is based on the accounting principle that the value of output equals the sum of the incomes that arise from producing the output.
The committee places less emphasis on monthly data series for industrial production and manufacturing-trade sales, because these refer to particular sectors of the economy.