The United States has officially entered a recession, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported on Thursday.

Traditionally, a recession has been defined as two straight quarters of negative growth in the nation’s gross domestic product, or GDP.

In the first quarter (Q1) of 2022, the BEA found that GDP decreased by 1.6% on an annualized basis.

Now, the BEA has reported that the GDP “decreased at an annual rate of 0.9 percent in the second quarter of 2022.”


Photo Credit: US BEA

When he was running against former President Jimmy Carter for president in 1980, then-candidate Ronald Reagan quipped the following definition of a recession: “A recession is when your neighbor loses his job. Depression is when you lose yours. And recovery is when Jimmy Carter loses his.”

Recently, the White House has attempted to downplay recession fears while also denying that two straight quarters of negative GDP growth constitutes a recession.

In a July 26 press briefing at the White House, Brian Deese, Director of the National Economic Council, took issue with the idea that two straight quarters of GDP growth equals a recession.

“As Secretary Yellen said on Sunday, two negative quarters of GDP growth is not the technical definition of recession. It’s not the definition that economists have traditionally relied on,” Director Deese said.

“There is an organization called the National Bureau of Economic Research, and what they do is they look at a broad range of data in deciding whether or not a recession has occurred.”

However, dating back to World War II, each time the U.S. economy has had two straight quarters of negative GDP growth, a recession has been declared.

Since 1947, the U.S. has entered recession 10 out of 10 times that the economy has produced two straight quarters of negative GDP growth.

That’s a perfect record.

EJ Antoni serves as a research fellow for Regional Economics in the Center for Data Analysis at The Heritage Foundation.

Following today’s news, Antoni told the Daily Citizen that the current administration’s attempt to redefine the word recession only “adds insult to injury for millions of American families who are hurting right now because of impolitic policies in Washington.”

“The fact is that we are in a recession and no amount of word games will change that reality or fool the American people. The average worker has lost the annual equivalent of $3,400 of income from inflation under Biden, monthly savings have plummeted, and housing is increasingly unaffordable for the middle class.

“Instead of doing a mea culpa and accepting accountability, Biden has chosen to simply tell those suffering people to not believe their lying eyes,” Antoni added.

Poor economic conditions can negatively impact families and marriages.

According to one 2018 study, financial troubles are the second leading cause of divorce, behind infidelity.

“Both high levels of debt and a lack of communication are major causes for the stress and anxiety surrounding household finances,” the study found.

Craig Constantinos, MA, LPCC, Counselor in the Counseling Services Department at Focus on the Family, spoke to the Daily Citizen following the release of the Q2 GDP numbers. He told us that financial troubles can quickly lead to difficulties within marriages.

“Stress and anxiety about the economy can often lead to frustration and conflict in marriages, as finances is one of the areas where different perspectives are most obvious,” Constantinos said.

“Having a grace-filled conversation about budgets and spiritual and financial goals can lead to deeper understanding in a marriage, which can turn the challenge of financial uncertainty into an opportunity to build one’s relationship with God and their spouse.”

If you’re struggling and need to speak with someone, Focus on the Family offers a free, one-time counseling consultation with a licensed or pastoral counselor. To request a counseling consultation, you can call 1-855-771-HELP (4357) or fill out our Counseling Consultation Request Form.

Related articles and resources:

Families Are Being Hit Hard by Tough Economic Headwinds, Economist Says

Inflation Hits Another Four Decade High of 9.1%, Hitting Struggling Families the Hardest

Getting a Reluctant Spouse Onboard with Budgeting

Working with Your Differences

Money Talk: The ‘You’ in ‘Unity’ is Silent

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