Source: Hamilton, James
Release: GDP-Based Recession Indicator Index
The series assigns dates to U.S. recessions based on a mathematical model of the way that recessions differ from expansions. Whereas the NBER business cycle dates are based on a subjective assessment of a variety of indicators, the dates here are entirely mechanical and are calculated solely from historically reported GDP data. Whenever the GDP-based recession indicator index rises above 67%, the economy is determined to be in a recession. The date that the recession is determined to have begun is the first quarter prior to that date for which the inference from the mathematical model using all data available at that date would have been above 50%. The next time the GDP-based recession indicator index falls below 33%, the recession is determined to be over, and the last quarter of the recession is the first quarter for which the inference from the mathematical model using all available data at that date would have been below 50%.
For more information about this series visit http://econbrowser.com/recession-index.
Hamilton, James, Dates of U.S. recessions as inferred by GDP-based recession indicator [JHDUSRGDPBR], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/JHDUSRGDPBR, January 20, 2019.