• Thomas Parker

U.S. economy officially enters recession

According to economists at the National Bureau of Economic Research, the United States economy is contracting. NBER defines a recession as "a decline in economic activity that lasts more than a few months."

A newly receding U.S. economy in June is a stark contrast to the outlook in February, when the economy had 3.5% unemployment, the lowest in 50 years, and employers added 273,000 workers that month.

The unemployment rate is currently 13.3%, higher than any other recession since the second World War.

"The unprecedented magnitude of the decline in employment and production, and its broad reach across the entire economy, warrants the designation of this episode as a recession, even if it turns out to be briefer than earlier contractions," the NBER panel said.

In an indication of the unusual scale and nature of the downturn, "the NBER called this recession just over three months after its onset, making this the fastest call since the 1980 recession, much shorter than the usual nine months to a year," Gregory Daco, chief U.S. economist with Oxford Economics, said in a report.

The NBER's placing of the recession's start in February 2020 also marks the end of the longest economic expansion in U.S. history, seeing more than 10 years of growth since the financial crisis.

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