The National Bureau of Economic Research (or NBER for short) has come out and officially declared that the United States economy is in a recession. Well isn't that timely news? And here the citizens thought the economy was in great shape. But are we in a recession?

Let’s go back in time, and review some of the calls made by the NBER.

On November 26th, 2001 the NBER came out and said that the US Economy was in recession. In fact, the November report said that the recession has actually been ongoing since March of that year, 8 months before the report. But going back to a Reuters article detailing the recent recessions, by the time the NBER announced that we were in a recession, the recession was already over. In fact, the NBER did not officially announce the recession was over until its July 17th, 2003 report, confirming that it in fact ended back in November of 2001.

The recession prior to that started all the way back in July of 1990. Once again, hot on the case, the NBER released the official notice that the US Economy was in recession in their report in April of 1991. It is a shame that that recession actually ended in MARCH of 1991, a month before the official announcement. But that is ok, because they came back and said the recession was over December 22, 1992

Finding the details of their expeditious reporting is not hard. It is located right there on their own site.

Announcement dates:

The December 2007 peak was announced December 1, 2008.
The November 2001 trough was announced July 17, 2003.
The March 2001 peak was announced November 26, 2001.
The March 1991 trough was announced December 22, 1992.
The July 1990 peak was announced April 25, 1991.
The November 1982 trough was announced July 8, 1983.
The July 1981 peak was announced January 6, 1982.
The July 1980 trough was announced July 8, 1981.
The January 1980 peak was announced June 3, 1980.

So... are we still in a recession? History has shown that by the time the NBER has officially announced the recession, that we are already out of it, or at least damn close. Brandon has already said that he thinks the recession/depression actually ended in November. For me, the NBER coming out and officially announcing recession actually makes me feel much more confident that we are through the worst of it all and will be bouncing back very soon.