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What Dates Are Used for the U.S. Recession Bars?

FRED uses business cycle turning points determined by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) for recession shading on graphs. Although recessions may end before the NBER determines the official end date, FRED graphs will continue to display shading for a recessionary time period until the NBER establishes the end date. Note: The shading for ongoing recessions is lighter than for recessions with known start and end dates.

The NBER recession data are available at http://www.nber.org/cycles/cyclesmain.html. The monthly dates for the peaks and troughs are represented as daily dates in the graphs regardless of the frequency of the plotted data. 

Please note that the NBER also provides quarterly dates for business cycle turning points. At times, the months and quarters of the business cycle turning points do not align. To learn more, see the FRED Blog post “Discrepancies in dating recessions.

The monthly business cycle turning point dates on FRED graphs are as follows:

Peak, Trough
1857-06-01, 1858-12-01
1860-10-01, 1861-06-01
1865-04-01, 1867-12-01
1869-06-01, 1870-12-01
1873-10-01, 1879-03-01
1882-03-01, 1885-05-01
1887-03-01, 1888-04-01
1890-07-01, 1891-05-01
1893-01-01, 1894-06-01
1895-12-01, 1897-06-01
1899-06-01, 1900-12-01
1902-09-01, 1904-08-01
1907-05-01, 1908-06-01
1910-01-01, 1912-01-01
1913-01-01, 1914-12-01
1918-08-01, 1919-03-01
1920-01-01, 1921-07-01
1923-05-01, 1924-07-01
1926-10-01, 1927-11-01
1929-08-01, 1933-03-01
1937-05-01, 1938-06-01
1945-02-01, 1945-10-01
1948-11-01, 1949-10-01
1953-07-01, 1954-05-01
1957-08-01, 1958-04-01
1960-04-01, 1961-02-01
1969-12-01, 1970-11-01
1973-11-01, 1975-03-01
1980-01-01, 1980-07-01
1981-07-01, 1982-11-01
1990-07-01, 1991-03-01
2001-03-01, 2001-11-01
2007-12-01, 2009-06-01
2020-02-01, 2020-04-01

Posted in Understanding the Data, Frequently Asked Questions
FRED Economic Data | St. Louis Fed


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