U.S. Economy Peaked in Late 2019, Entered Recession in February, Says National Bureau of Economic Research

CAMBRIDGE, MASS. — The U.S. economy officially peaked during the fourth quarter of 2019 and entered a recession in February, according to a new report from the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), a Cambridge, Mass.-based nonprofit group that tracks economic cycles. A recession entails two consecutive quarters of economic contraction, measured by gross domestic product. NBER analysts believe this recession was a result of the global COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent business closures, layoffs and slowing of general business in the United States.

As this economic shutdown was self-induced, unlike previous recession periods in the country’s history, NBER analysts predict that this recession will be comparatively brief. February marked the end of the economic expansion that began in June 2009 and which saw 128 months of consecutive job growth, the longest streak in the history of U.S. business cycles dating back to 1854, according to NBER. The previous record was held by the business expansion that lasted for 120 months from March 1991 to March 2001.

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