People disagree whether the United States is in a recession or not, because there isn’t a generalized formula you can just plug some numbers into. Instead, the translation of of many economic indicators to a binary definition is more complicated. For The Washington Post, Alyssa Fowers and Kevin Schaul report on work from the National Bureau of Economic Research.
A set of baseline charts show how indicators currently compare to past recessions. Things feels worse, but some indicators show better days. The pandemic, surprise, makes these current times more of a challenge to define.