Put the champagne back on ice -- the Great Recession ain't over yet.
The committee that decides such matters, the Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research, declared Monday that it is "premature" to determine the worst point of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression -- meaning that it decided not to identify the month when the worst was behind us and growth began. (Scroll down for charts)
The recession officially began more than two years ago in December 2007. Since then, the unemployment rate has nearly doubled.
Meeting last Thursday at the organization's Cambridge, Mass. headquarters, the panel "reviewed the most recent data for all indicators relevant" to marking an end to the recession.
"Although most indicators have turned up, the committee decided that the determination of the trough date on the basis of current data would be premature," its statement reads. "Many indicators are quite preliminary at this time and will be revised in coming months. The committee acts only on the basis of actual indicators and does not rely on forecasts in making its determination of the dates of peaks and troughs in economic activity."
Meanwhile, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a 30-nation think tank, said Monday that the U.S. economy is experiencing an "expansion."
Based on the OECD's composite index of various economic indicators -- which includes consumer sentiment, durable goods sales, weekly manufacturing hours of work, among other things -- the U.S. has been in an "expansion" phase for the past two months in which data is available (January and February). In the 10 months prior, the economy had been in a "recovery" phase.
The U.S. recorded among the "strongest signs of increasing economic activity," the OECD said in a statement.