Challenge for Economists: Positive GDP Recessions

Tuesday, May 06, 2008 | 10:01 AM

Several economists and pundits have unequivocally stated that, since there have been no negative quarters of GDP, there is no Recession. 

This group of economic observers include former CEA Chair and current Harvard Prof Greg Mankiw, economist Brian Wesbury, economist/media pundit Larry Kudlow, and USNews reporter James Pethokoukis -- amongst a few others.

Here's my challenge for both BP readers and these economic observers:

Has there ever been a recession declared by the NBER, even where there was not 2 consecutive quarters of negative GDP?

Have there been past recessions where GDP was originally reported as a positive number? 


Readers can post their answers below.

I will post the definitive answer to this in 24 hours.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008 | 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (28) | TrackBack (1) add to | digg digg this! | technorati add to technorati | email email this post



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» Positive GDP Recessions Are Typical from The Big Picture
After the Advanced GDP came out last week at 0.6%, I was surprised to read a variety of commentary about the economy that was factually incorrect. Several pundits and economists had concluded that since GDP was positive, we therefore could not possibl... [Read More]

Tracked on May 7, 2008 11:07:34 AM


According to Anirvan Banerji of ECRI, the 2001 recession, as declared by NBER, did not contain 2 consecutive quarters of negative GDP. Please see

Posted by: Alan Levit | May 6, 2008 10:12:50 AM

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