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A recession is a severe, widespread, and prolonged economic downturn. There are various negative impacts on everything from slower business profits to high rates of unemployment. Also, consumer spending usually decreases.
While there is no single cause of a recession, certain chains of events can severely impact the economy, thus leading to a recession. These can include things like financial crises, natural disasters, political instability and inflation.
While the terms “depression” and “recession” are commonly used interchangeably, they are not the same thing. A depression is a far more severe time of economic weakness and happens far less frequently. A recession can lead to a depression, in some severe cases.
Some of the most notable recessions in the last few decades are The COVID-19 Pandemic Recession (February 2020-April 2020), The Great Recession (December 2007-June 2009), The Dot-Bomb Recession (March 2001-November 2001) and the Gulf War Recession (July 1990-March 1991).
While the United States is currently experiencing inflation, the country is not in a recession. While inflation is often present in times of recession, periods of inflation do not necessarily indicate a recession.
There are a few common signs that may indicate a recession is coming. These include things like increases in unemployment, decreases in home sales and increases in wages.
A recession can last anywhere from several months to several years. In recent decades, the shortest recession was during the COVID-19 pandemic, which only lasted about two months. However, the Great Recession of 2007-2009 lasted a year and a half.
According to many experts, there are five stages of a recession. Those are:
Recessions typically have widespread economic impacts. These can include things like increased job loss, decreases in home values, higher prices for goods and services, high gas prices and less consumer spending.
Anyone can be impacted by an economic recession, regardless of household size and income. You could face a layoff or a reduction in your working hours, an increase in your living expenses, or spend less money on travel and entertainment.
Some ways to prepare for and mitigate a recession’s financial challenges include: