What is an economic recession? This occurs when there is a significant decline in the economy which usually lasts for months. This is visible in terms of consumer spending, employment, industrial production, real income and wholesale trade. A technical indicator of this is 2 consecutive quarters of negative growth which is measured by the country’s GDP or gross domestic product.
Experts say that an economic recession is normal because it is part of the business cycle and things usually improve within 16 to 18 months.
During the business cycle, there is a period of recovery, expansion, slowdown and then recession. During recovery, the GDP of a country starts to move up. When the GDP grows robustly, this is the time that it expands. When consumers are not buying that much, this is when you have a slowdown. Because there is weaker demand, you have a recession.
The last economic recession occurred in 2000 and 2001 which featured three quarters of negative growth followed by three positive quarters then five more quarters of sub par growth. Experts say that the same trend will happen right now.
One solution that the government usually does is lower interest rates to help stimulate the economy. Just last year, the Federal government slashed interest rates three times towards the end of the third and fourth quarter year so that overnight loans between banks could be borrowed at 4.25% which happens to be its lowest in the past 2 years.
What makes the economic recession different from what occurred after the Second World War is that this one is caused by falling home values and a crisis of confidence among fixed income investors.