Published: Apr 12, 2010 1:00 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — A panel of academics that date the beginnings and ends of recessions isn't ready to declare just yet when this downturn ended.

The National Bureau of Economic Research says although most barometers show improvements in the economy, it would be "premature" to pinpoint the end of a recession based on economic data seen so far.

The group has already pinpointed the start date of the recession as December 2007. Many private economists believed the recession ended in June or July last year.

The economy started growing again in the second quarter of last year after a record four straight quarters of declines. The economy also has started to generate jobs again — albeit at a sluggish pace.