Since the Great Depression, the U.S. economy has fallen into recession 12 times, according to economists at the National Bureau of Economic Research who establish dates for business cycles.

After 10 of those recessions ended, the economy continued to grow for at least three years. The periods of growth between recessions are called recoveries. But strictly speaking, economists say a recovery lasts until the economy returns to where it was when the recession started. Once it does, it becomes an "expansion."

Here's a list of postwar recessions and recoveries/expansions: