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Real GDP reached its low point in the second quarter of 2009, while the value of real GDI was essentially identical in the second and third quarters of 2009.
It places particular emphasis on measures that refer to the total economy rather than to particular sectors.
These include a measure of monthly GDP that has been developed by the private forecasting firm Macroeconomic Advisers, measures of monthly GDP and GDI that have been developed by two members of the committee in independent research (James Stock and Mark Watson, (available here), real personal income excluding transfers, the payroll and household measures of total employment, and aggregate hours of work in the total economy.
Rather, the committee determined only that the recession ended and a recovery began in that month.
A recession is a period of falling economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales.
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.