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NBER Says Recession Has Not Ended

The National Bureau of Economic Research announced today that although some private economists have heralded the recession's end, it would be "premature" to declare the recession over based on economic data it reviewed last week. The panel examined figures that comprise the gross domestic product, personal incomes, employment, and industrial activity.

Independent economists consider last June or July to have marked the end of the downturn, which conflicts with the Bureau's findings. The current recession has been the most severe and the longest since the Great Depression.

The panel is generally conservative with its estimations of recession starting and ending points. It didn't decide that the 2001 recession had ended until July 2003, when it had actually ended in November 2001.

Even though the economy began to grow at a slow pace during the second quarter last year, based on historic precedents, unemployment will likely continue to rise. After the 2001 recession, unemployment reached its highest levels in June 2003.

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