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There’s No US Recession Until an Obscure Panel of ‘Eggheads’ Says It Is So

  • In US, two negative GDP quarters isn’t an official recession
  • Researchers led by Stanford professor will give the last word
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US May Already Be in Recession: Haverford Trust's Smith

Wall Street and Washington are loudly debating whether the US economy can escape a recession -- but that monumental judgment will be made by eight eminent economists meeting quietly and far from public view.

While many countries define an economic downturn as two consecutive quarters of negative growth for gross domestic product, the US defers this assessment to elite academics at the National Bureau of Economic Research, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, whose leaders scoff at the two-quarter benchmark as simplistic and misleading.