RDP 2005-07: The Australian Business Cycle: A Coincident Indicator Approach Appendix C: Revisions to GDP and Recession Dating

Figure C1 shows the dating of recessions for the period 1960:Q1 to 1992:Q4 for vintages of GDP from 1971:Q1 to 2004:Q4. Recessions are shown as black bars. Looking across the figure shows which GDP vintages classified that quarter as being in recession. Looking down the figure shows the dates of recessions for a given GDP vintage. The recessions observed in 1960–1961, 1982–1983 and 1990–1991 are robust across the different vintages of GDP, although the length and precise timing of these recessions has changed with revisions to the national accounts. All vintages of GDP after 1974:Q2, with the exception of the 1998:Q3–1999:Q2 vintages, identify at least one recession in the 1970s. However, the timing of recessions in the 1970s has been subject to substantial revision. In part, this appears to be the result of larger revisions to GDP in the 1970s. Furthermore, with lower average growth in the 1970s, small revisions to GDP can easily change the dating of recessions. No recessions are found after 1992.

Figure C1: Recession Dating for Different Vintages of GDP