The U.S. Economy Is Already Mired in a Coronavirus-Sourced Recession, UCLA Economists Say

We wish you and your students the best as everyone responds to the medical and economic impact of the pandemic. With troubling news unfolding day by day, your students may have questions about the economy as they hear more and more discussion about a recession. As painful as these current circumstances are, they do present an opportunity to discuss this important economic concept and its influence on business, employment, and consumer behavior.

The term recession sometimes get used in casual speech as a general term for a severe economic slowdown, but economists think in more specific terms. A commonly used but somewhat narrow definition of recession is a drop in economic activity, as measured by GDP, lasting at least two quarters. This is the definition used by UCLA’s Anderson School of Management in this article.