WASHINGTON, July 19 (Xinhua) — The COVID-19 induced U.S. economic recession in 2020 lasted two months, making it the shortest U.S. recession on record, the Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) said on Monday.
“The committee has determined that a trough in monthly economic activity occurred in the U.S. economy in April 2020. The previous peak in economic activity occurred in February 2020. The recession lasted two months,” the NBER said in a statement.
The committee concluded that the unprecedented magnitude of the decline in employment and production, and its broad reach across the entire economy, warranted the designation of this episode as a recession, even though the downturn was briefer than earlier contractions, the NBER said.
The committee decided that any future downturn of the economy would be a new recession and not a continuation of the recession associated with the February 2020 peak, according to the NBER.
Analysts often refer to recessions as two consecutive quarters of contraction in gross domestic product (GDP). However, in the United States, the NBER formally determines when recessions begin and end on a range of factors.
Jason Furman, former chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said Monday on Twitter that the NBER’s formal decision means the U.S. economy started getting less bad after April 2020, but, in many respects, it’s still well below where it should be.
The U.S. economy contracted 3.5 percent in 2020 amid the pandemic, the largest annual decline of U.S. GDP since 1946, according to data released by the U.S. Commerce Department.
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