the committee determined that a trough in business activity occurred in the U.S. economy in June 2009. The trough marks the end of the recession that began in December 2007 and the beginning of an expansion. The recession lasted 18 months, which makes it the longest of any recession since World War II. Previously the longest postwar recessions were those of 1973-75 and 1981-82, both of which lasted 16 months.

NBER, announcing the June 2009 end of the recession. Any subsequent downturn “would be considered a new recession and not a continuation of the recession that began in December 2007.” The trough in payroll employment occurred six months later, though far more rapidly than the 2001-03 recession, which bottomed twenty-one months after NBER determined a trough. Via NBER

It’s definitely the worst apart from the Depression, which was far, far worse. It’s still too early to tote up the cost, given that we are still far from recovered from its effects.

Robert Hall, head of the business cycle dating committee at NBER: via Bloomberg

You need not go farther than one of our stores on midnight at the end of the month. ‘About 11 p.m. customers start to come in and shop, fill their grocery basket with basic items — baby formula, milk, bread, eggs — and continue to shop and mill about the store until midnight when government electronic benefits cards get activated, and then the checkout starts.

William Simon, President and CEO of Wal-Mart: via Bloomberg