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Recession, who said anything about a Recession?

When I was in England in April the lady who drove me to the airport talked about the American Recession. I said, "Actually I haven't heard the word recession used yet."

"What, so you guys aren't admitting you're in a recession?"

"Well we aren't."

"Then you're in denial."

Then today my sister and I had a conversation about recession and my husband chimes in, "We're not in a recession."

So I kindly remind him that when professionals start getting layed off I start thinking the economy isn't doing so well.

"What professionals do you know that have been layed off?" He counters.

"How about Trent, or that guy from your office? Both Engineer's with at least a Bachelor's degree."

What's the definition of a recession I began to wonder. Well I'll tell you as far as I've been informed it means that there is no economic growth for two or more quarters.

"Last quarter we grew 1%," my husband informs me, "so we're not in a recession."

Oh, 1%! Wow, I'm so comforted now. But what I want to know, as the person who didn't take economics in school, what's economic growth? Does anyone know the answer to that?

Does it mean that we aren't building new houses? (Well yeah, have you noticed the prices?) Does it mean we aren't building new cars? What is it? Does it mean people start saving instead of spending? And whose fault is it?

I'd like to blame the banks, after all they did offer us a $300k home loan a year ago (which of course was WAY out of our budget). Who offers home loans of that sort to people who can't afford it!?

So, if I have any economic professionals (or otherwise knowledgeable folk) that read my blog, please tell me.

Comments

Kiri Levie said…
Hmmm... I think I'd have to give my professional opinion that we are in a recession. Although it'd be nice to blame the banks, I think it's the consumer who actually took the $300k loan on an income that couldn't support it, combined with the government who thinks it's their job to bail out idiots who can't manage their money.
Ivy said…
amen to that!!
I have family members that are letting properties go into forclosure. 1 of them had 2 houses forclosed on and another had several houses and properties. Both of them are angry at the banks for allowing them to get into a position they couldn't afford to be in. I also get frustrated that the government bails them out so easily. 1 of these family members have already declared bankruptcy once. i love both of them but who has to suck it up for their mistakes when they suddenly realize that they've just made a lot of big financial mistakes.?
i guess i shouldn't be so hard on them. one of my siblings has in-laws that don't want to get a job because they'd rather be retired so they are just staying in their house till they're evicted and they don't know what they'll do after that.
Anyway, my thought on the economic growth thing: is'nt it a combination of houses, cars, sales from stores etc. I always thought that it's a report put together by people who keep track of profit reports for several companies.
Does that make sense?
Wes and Lindsay said…
Charity,

Economic decline is when we have negative GDP. As you know GDP stands for Gross Domestic Product. this is the sum of all value in terms of dollars that the U.S. produces ( it doesn't include the service of house moms or black market activity) So an economic downturn is when the GDP wanes or accelerates at a declining rate. That is about how I remember it.

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