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A: Personal income comes from Table 2.6 of the National Income and Product Accounts, less personal current transfer receipts from the same table, deflated by a monthly interpolation of the price index for gross domestic product, NIPA Table 1.1.9. The committee also considered new estimates of monthly real GDP and GDI constructed by two committee members, James Stock and Mark Watson (available here).
Many of the ingredients of the quarterly GDP figures are published at a monthly frequency by government agencies.
In the recession beginning in December 2007 and ending in June 2009, real GDP declined in the first, third, and fourth quarters of 2008 and in the first quarter of 2009.
We identify a month when the economy reached a peak of activity and a later month when the economy reached a trough.Q: The financial press often states the definition of a recession as two consecutive quarters of decline in real GDP.How does that relate to the NBER's recession dating procedure?The NBER business-cycle chronology considers economic activity, which grows along an upward trend.As a result, the unemployment rate often rises before the peak of economic activity, when activity is still rising but below its normal trend rate of increase.