Recession Rule Of Thumb

by Chris Bodenner
In response to my earlier post, which stated, "a recession technically requires two quarters of economic contraction," a reader writes:

Technically, no, it doesn't. That is not the definition used by the [National Bureau of Economic Research] whose job it is to define the start and end of a recession. This is merely a business press rule of thumb. The NBER considers factors other than GDP, such as falling employment (which has been the case for six months straight) and how far GDP falls. Also, they use a definition which requires only several months of significant slowdown, not two quarters. Whether we're in a recession right now is undetermined. The measley fractions of a point of GDP growth in recent months may end up being revised downward.