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“Official” Recession Dating Entity’s Research Flawed, Says New Study


SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (September 24, 2009) – The Archer Knight Group has found several flaws in The National Bureau of Economic Research’s recession dating methodology. The NBER, a non-governmental organization, is widely viewed as the “official” recession dating entity by the U.S. government, businesses, and the media.

Archer Knight conducted their study after a cursory look showed some discrepancies between traditional recession dates and those chosen by the NBER. The following are some of the flaws found in NBER’s research:

1. Inconsistency in NBER’s research process and results – they choose different economic indicators to date different recessions.
2. Three of NBER’s recession dates do not match any of their chosen economic indicators’ trends.
3. NBER’s stated primary conceptual measure of economic activity, Real GDP, is not their primary conceptual measure in practice.
4. Real GDP manifests positive growth trends during eight of the eleven recessionary periods chosen by the NBER since 1947, and in one instance, 2001, it manifests positive growth the entire time.
5. NBER relied on Real GDP and Real GDI data that had not yet been finalized by the U.S. government to date the current recession.

Download the full report from Archer Knight’s homepage at:

The Archer Knight Group is a full-service management consulting firm based in Salt Lake City, Utah. They specialize in advanced qualitative and quantiative research and analysis methods to optimize businesses and governments.



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