US Recessions have been due to significant decline in general economic activity. There have been as many as 47 recessions in the United States, with 17 significant ones, dating back to the Articles of Confederation. The history of recessions in the United States shows that they are a natural, though painful, part of the business cycle. The National Bureau of Economic Research determines when a recession starts and ends. The NBER also defines the recessions’ significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales.