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It’s Official: The U.S. Recession Began in February

  • In a quick decision, panel says huge decline merits its call
  • The recession could be short with activity already picking up
Photographer: Emily Elconin/Bloomberg
Updated on

The record-long U.S. expansion ended in February, according to the academic panel that serves as the arbiter of America’s business cycles, putting an official date on the start of the coronavirus-induced recession.

“The committee has determined that a peak in monthly economic activity occurred in the U.S. economy in February 2020,” the National Bureau of Economic Research’s Business Cycle Dating Committee said in a web statement on Monday. “The unprecedented magnitude of the decline in employment and production, and its broad reach across the entire economy, warrants the designation of this episode as a recession, even if it turns out to be briefer than earlier contractions.”