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Recession Referees Reject Idea That Two GDP Drops Spell a Downturn

  • Informal rule of thumb has no merit to NBER recession group
  • US expansion continuing this year, ex-committee members say
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US Economy Shrinks for Second Straight Quarter

The official arbiters of US recessions aren’t close to making a call that a downturn is under way, and may end up concluding 2022’s first half was part of a continuing expansion.

The National Bureau of Economic Research’s business cycle dating committee rejects the notion that two quarterly contractions in gross domestic product is conclusive of a recession. Instead, the group of eight elite academic economists looks at half a dozen monthly economic reports to see a “significant decline in economic activity that is spread across the economy and that lasts more than a few months.”