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Historical Recessions

Don't let them get you down!

About This Data

This dataset was built using the Philadelphia Federal Reserve's State Coincident Indices and the Bry-Boschan Method for business cycle dating. It then became available here. In the tradition of Owyang, Piger, et al. business cycles are calculated on the state level which provides interesting analysis opportunities for looking at recession timing for different regions or sectors present in different states. With this information, we could look to predict future recessions, or try to understand why they occurred in the past.

Things to try in the data set:

Group Data

Roll data up into groups of values within a column to look for trends. Place groups inside of groups to drill down another level, then group again!

Filter Data

Use the filters to narrow down the file to the values that interest you most. Only show values that include, exclude, contain, or are greater than a value (to name a few). Then add another level of filtering with AND / OR logic to dive deeper.

Search Data

Not sure where to start? Use search to find values in the file and then go back and filter or group the entire data set down to just that value.

Number of Recessions Over Time

Months (in number format) with the Most Recessions

Number of Recessions by Year

Data Highlights

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Explore This Data


There were no recession reports for all of 2017 and for all of the data we have in 2018.


The top 5 months with the most reported recessions are as follows: 

  1. January - 275 

  2. March - 273 

  3. Febuary - 270 

  4. April - 259 

  5. October - 252


During 2008, there where 470 recessions reported by US states country wide. December had 50 of these reports, whereas January only had 15.

Key Insights


“A growing number of experts see the country entering a recession in late 2022 or 2023 as the Federal Reserve's efforts to cool inflation dramatically slow down economic growth. Financial markets are taking such fears seriously, with stocks staging the biggest sell-off since June 2020 on Wednesday”(source). 

With rising economic uncertainty, we thought the internet could benefit from some cold hard data. In particular, we thought it would be helpful to take a look at this data, which includes data from 1982 through 2018. And, includes whether the economy is in a recession or not, with forward looking and backward looking data available for observations as well. Additionally, various FRED St. Louis series were joined, like the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index and the Global Price of Brent Crude. The 2012 value added as a percent for different NAICS groups is included as well for sectoral analysis, although better data over time for this would prove beneficial. The industries file attempts to correct this, but has fewer years available.

Using the group feature, we can see the number of recessions per year, and by month within that year.

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