Dating the world business cycle

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Howe Institute Business Cycle Council is an arbiter of business cycle dates in Canada.The Council also acts as a conduit for research aimed at developing a deeper understanding of how the economy evolves and to provide guidance to policymakers.While most papers dealing with business cycle dates rely on one specific method, I present and discuss a number of different dating approaches based on the classical business cycle.These are applied to German GDP data comprising 1970–2006.

Committee members do this by looking at real GDP and other indicators including real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales.

The business cycle or output cycle is often visualized in terms of consistent expansions and contraction, almost like a sine wave.

Actual fluctuations in real GDP, however, are far from consistent.

Votes are subject to a quorum of at least half of the members of the Council.

The Council chair votes only in the event of a stalemate.

Previously the longest postwar recessions were those of 1973--82, both of which lasted 16 months.

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