The first estimate of Q2 GDP in the United States announced in July indicated a 0.9% decline. Combined with the Q1 report, that means the first half of 2022 has seen negative growth, even if the second quarter was a slight improvement on the first. There’s a good chance we’re in a recession, but there's three criteria that need to be met before it can be officially called one.
The NBER fundamentally considers three things in calling recessions: depth, diffusion and duration.
Given that we’ve seen 6 months of negative growth for the U.S. economy, the duration test is likely met. But the lack of real depth to this decline may prevent the NBER from calling it a recession just yet. Then diffusion is the most complex of the three parts of the NBER’s definition. Clearly, some sectors of the economy such as travel and energy are doing relatively well today.
So we’ll have to wait some time to see if the NBER call this a recession.
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