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First, we do not identify economic activity solely with real GDP and real GDI, but use a range of other indicators as well.
Second, we place considerable emphasis on monthly indicators in arriving at a monthly chronology.
We designated June 2009 as the trough, six months before the trough in employment, which is consistent with earlier trough dates in the NBER business-cycle chronology.
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.
On the other hand, the unemployment rate often continues to rise after activity has reached its trough.
In this respect, the unemployment rate is a lagging indicator.