After nearly of a year of unofficial pronouncements of the country’s recession (see, for example, NPR: Official Or Not, Consumers Sense A Recession), media outlets across the country, earlier this month, announced that the recession is now official (see, for example, NPR: Recession Is Official).
So what’s the difference between an official and an unofficial recession? Unofficially, a recession could be classified as any “period of general economic decline.” Officially, a recession is a decline in “GDP for six months (two consecutive quarters) or longer.” (see recession definition at BusinessDictionary.com).
So all this talk of recession and GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth got me thinking I should look at the data (see chart below), analyze it and see if I can find anything insightful. Here’s what I found:
–Quarterly Growth in real GDP at annual rates, Percent
–“The current administration has compiled the worst economic record in 50 years.” -Bill Clinton, 1992, http://www.ibiblio.org/nii/econ-posit.html