Recession

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What is a 'Recession'

A recession is a significant decline in activity across the economy, lasting longer than a few months. It is visible in industrial production, employment, real income and wholesale-retail trade. The technical indicator of a recession is two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth as measured by a country's gross domestic product (GDP); although the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) does not necessarily need to see this occur to call a recession.

BREAKING DOWN 'Recession'

Recession is a normal (albeit unpleasant) part of the business cycle; however, one-time crisis events can often trigger the onset of a recession. The global recession of 2008-2009 brought a great amount of attention to the risky investment strategies used by many large financial institutions, along with the truly global nature of the financial sytem. As a result of such a wide-spread global recession, the economies of virtually all the world's developed and developing nations suffered extreme set-backs and numerous government policies were implemented to help prevent a similar future financial crisis.

A recession generally lasts from six to 18 months, and interest rates usually fall in during these months to stimulate the economy by offering cheap rates at which to borrow money.

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