Economists Argue If U.S. Economy Recovering or Back in Recession

The thing about a recession is that you typically don’t know you’re in one until it’s been around for a while. Broadly defined, an economy is in recession not just when it’s operating below capacity, but when it’s outright shrinking. Exactly what constitutes that shrinkage, though, can be fuzzy. The most cited rule of thumb, two consecutive quarters of declining output, doesn’t always apply. Gross domestic product is often positive when a recession starts. That’s why recoveries sometimes don’t feel much different than recessions.

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