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4 Definitions of Recession

A recession is a prolonged economic downturn. These can be identified with the combination of a definition and economic data. Beyond a definitional recession, a recession can be called by economists as subject matter experts. The following are common definitions of a recession.
1. Zero or negative growth of GDP in at least two successive quarters.
2. Negative economic growth for at least six months.
3. A significant decline in economic activity that is spread across the economy that lasts longer than a few months.
4. A prolonged economic decline of six months or more that is normally visible in measures of GDP growth, income, employment, industrial production and retail sales.


In an inflationary environment, a decline in nominal GDP has more negative impact. For example, if GDP declines 4% and inflation is 10% real financial conditions are rapidly getting worse as the economy is producing less GDP and that GDP has less real value.
The first two definitions (above) provide a bright line that anyone can use to identify recessions after they occur. The latter two definitions require interpretation by a subject matter expert such as an economist.

Economic Problems

This is the complete list of articles we have written about economic problems.
Capital Flight
Economic Issues
Economic Outcomes
Economic Problems
Excess Burden
Supply Shock
Trade War
Zombie Company
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