EXPLANATOR: How do we know a recession has started? | Company

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy has contracted for two straight quarters, heightening fears that the country is on the verge of a recession — if not already in one — just two years after the pandemic recession officially ended.

Six months of contraction is a long-standing informal definition of a recession. Yet nothing is simple in the post-pandemic economy. His leadership has baffled Federal Reserve policymakers and many private economists since growth came to a screeching halt in March 2020 when COVID-19 hit and 20 million Americans were suddenly laid off.

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