Economic Recession – All You Need To Know

It was early 2008, when economic recession was gripping the United States and people just don’t know what to do about it. In truth, economic recession isn’t something new anymore. In fact, it has been happening all through out the decades. People don’t just know about it because it has not been as widely publicized as now. This is perhaps because of the ongoing political race between the Republican and the Democrat. And mayhap also because, the country has never experienced such downturn in economy than now, with losses in the real estate, banking and insurance sectors.

Economic recession is actually a term used to refer to the slowing down or downturn of the economy after a period of upturn. You can better picture it with a cycle that often turns. Economy is sometimes rosy and bullish but after a period of progress, it will slow down and become bearish as what they use in the stock market.

What is an Economic Recession

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.

Defining an Economic Recession

An economic recession is defined by a negative growth in gross domestic product for two consecutive quarters. In other words, the gross domestic products are decreasing in production. Recession is a national or world even regional event. Economic recession lasts from six months until a year or two, which could be the worst time frame for a recession. Based on the experience of the United States with its last three recessions, the labor- market recession would last between three to four years. (Schmitt and Baker, 2008) with the actual recession only happening for more than a year and a half. The effects of a recession could be felt longer than the actual span of the recession itself.

There are several telltale signs that a nation or region is experiencing economic recession. MarketWatch lists seven things to watch out for to be full-warned for an economic recession event.

Signs of Economic Recession

An economic recession is defined by a negative growth in gross domestic product for two consecutive quarters. In other words, the gross domestic products are decreasing in production. Recession is a national or world even regional event. Economic recession lasts from six months until a year or two, which could be the worst time frame for a recession. Based on the experience of the United States with its last three recessions, the labor- market recession would last between three to four years. (Schmitt and Baker, 2008) with the actual recession only happening for more than a year and a half. The effects of a recession could be felt longer than the actual span of the recession itself.

There are several telltale signs that a nation or region is experiencing economic recession. MarketWatch lists seven things to watch out for to be full-warned for an economic recession event.

Causes of Economic Recession

An example where these “animal spirits” take over, is when consumers lose interest on products and outputs. On the eve of an economic recession, there will be overproduction. Supply will exceed the demands of products and goods.

This will push companies to increase prices and consumers will lose confidence and will be uncertain in purchasing products. Until the event that consumers will stop buying. Another example for this element driving recession will be the psychological impact the events of the September 11 attacks on consumers and the people.

Some economists suggest that recession may not only be caused by events that have large or huge impact on the people. Events that hurt particular companies or industries can also cause recession. Major innovations or change in a price of a major component needed in the completion of the product can have dramatic effects on some firms. These may cause reduction of workers or production.

Overconsumption can also be a cause of recession. Spending more that what is necessary may lead to recession and poverty. And example will be the major fuss over the expenditure of the United States in the Iraq war. Economists are saying that the United States should be careful with their consumption in the future.

Government economic policies can be used to avoid economic recession. But failure to provide good economic policies can lead to recession. There are some errors that can be made in economic policies. There are some economic policies that can lead to a boom and bust. This means that the economy is running in an unsustainable pace. Inflation is increasing.

Another policy error is that the policymakers themselves are not attentive enough to see the increasing inflation and onset of recession. Policymakers often times regard the onset of recession as just a slow economic growth and will correct themselves. But failure to address this may lead to more economic disasters.

Economic recession is not just a United States issue. The United Nations expressed an alarm that there might be a global economic recession as early as January 2008. According to United Nations, world economic growth for 2008 is estimated to be on 3.4 percent, flowing from the down trend since 2006 (3.9 percent) and 2007 (3.7 percent).

The bursting of the housing market bubble of the United States and the unfolding credit crisis of other countries are some contributing factors for a global recession. Currently, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania are in risk of experiencing economic recession due to credit crisis.

To summarize, economic recession can be brought about by external as well as internal economic shocks and widening imbalances in the economy. Numerous ways can cause recession. Steps can be undertaken to avoid altogether this kind of economic scenario to happen. But the most difficult part is to recover from the impacts of this economic turmoil.

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