Data sources

7 August 2017 - Euro area sees four years of slow but steady recovery

The CEPR Euro Area Business Cycle Dating Committee, which is composed of nine CEPR researchers, establishes the chronology of recessions and expansions of the eleven-original euro-area member countries plus Greece for 1970-1998, and of the entire euro area from 1999 onwards.

The Committee released its new findings in August 2017. Its main conclusion is that since the last trough in 2013Q1, the euro area has been recovering at a slow but steady pace. This post-recession recovery is commensurate with that of the US recovery, considering it began later, after the double-dip European recession that followed the global financial crisis.

Chronology of Euro Area Business Cycles

The Committee has identified the peak and trough quarters since 1970:

Table 1. Peaks and Troughs

Date Peak/Trough Announcement Date Findings
2013Q1 Trough 1 October 2015 Available here
2011Q3 Peak 15 November 2012 Available here
2009Q2 Trough 4 October 2010 Available here
2008Q1 Peak 31 March 2009 Available here
1993Q3 Trough 22 September 2003 Available here
1992Q1 Peak 22 September 2003 Available here
1982Q3 Trough 22 September 2003 Available here
1980Q1 Peak 22 September 2003 Available here
1975Q1 Trough 22 September 2003 Available here
1974Q3 Peak 22 September 2003 Available here

Therefore the euro area expanded until 1974. Since then there have been five complete cyclical episodes (recession followed by expansion).

Quarters of recession are indicated in grey, and quarters of expansion in white in the figure below. The source spreadsheet of this chronology is available here.

Note: CEPR Recession shading for quarters follows the trough method used by FRED to compute NBER Recession Inndicators for the United States (see here). It shows a recession from the quarter following the peak through the quarter of the trough (i.e. the peak is not included in the recession shading, but the trough is).