A recession starts after economic activity has reached its peak. Right when things are better than ever is when they’re about to get worse. The decline in business conditions has to affect the whole economy; it can’t just be a single-sector slump, like the one Amazon has wrought among retailers. But you won’t know the recession has started until later, because the NBER waits until the government has finished its data revisions, which happens over a period of months. It wasn’t until 2008 that the organization announced that the last recession had begun in 2007.
There have been 11 recessions since World War II. The current economic expansion began in mid-2009, making it the third longest in history, and it can’t last forever.
Expansions don’t just die of old age. One thing that can trigger recessions is the Federal Reserve hiking interest rates to quell inflation. The Federal Reserve is currently in the process of raising rates, but inflation is still low and most economists see no cause for concern in the immediate future ― though economists are not exactly great at predicting what will happen.
“When wage and price pressures develop, that’s when the clock starts to tick,” said Mark Zandi, an economist with Moody’s Analytics, a financial analysis provider.
Upward pressure on wages has