Opinion

Opinion | Try Not to Think of a Recession

Is the U.S. in a recession? New York Mayor Eric Adams seems to think so. Speaking last week to the nonprofit group Project Hospitality, he said: “We’re in a financial crisis like you can never imagine. . . . Wall Street is collapsing. We’re in a recession.” But Mr. Adams’s fellow Democrats in the Biden administration have been furiously denying there’s a recession. When a reporter asked him if they’re wrong, he backtracked: “The president will make a determination on the official title of where we are; that’s the president, and I follow the lead of the president.”

Wikipedia tried to declare a cease-fire in the war of words by restricting its “Recession” page so that unregistered users couldn’t edit it. At one point, the page claimed there was “no global consensus” on the definition of a recession. There is a rule of thumb, which is that two successive quarters of declining gross domestic product—such as the first two quarters of 2022—indicates a recession.

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