The U.S. economy contracted for the second straight quarter from April to June, hitting a widely accepted rule of thumb for a recession, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Thursday.
Gross domestic product fell 0.9% at an annualized pace for the period, according to the advance estimate. That follows a 1.6% decline in the first quarter and was worse than the Dow Jones estimate for a gain of 0.3%.
Officially, the National Bureau of Economic Research declares recessions and expansions, and likely won’t make a judgment on the period in question for months if not longer.
But a second straight negative GDP reading meets a long-held basic view of recession, despite the unusual circumstances of the decline and regardless of what the NBER decides. GDP is the broadest measure of the economy and encompasses the total level of goods and services produced during the period.