The Committee determined that a trough in economic activity occurred in the second quarter of 2009. The trough marks the end of the recession that began in the first quarter of 2008. The recession lasted 5 quarters or 15 months. The total decline in output from peak to trough is 5.5 percent. Identifying the month of the trough is more difficult. The Committee found a clear trough in industrial production in April 2009. Sales data show a more erratic picture, and unemployment kept rising (this is not unusual at the end of recessions). Given the clear trough of industrial production the Committee declared April 2009 to mark the end of the recession, which began in January 2008 and lasted 15 months.