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What does it mean to have a double-dip recession?


That term is used for a recession – traditionally defined as two consecutive quarters in which the economy shrinks – that occurs less than 18 months after the end of another recession. The idea is that the recovery from the first recession is so tepid that it doesn’t really get legs. Job creation may be too mild to make consumers spend vigorously again, which in turn limits hiring in a vicious circle. As much as economists and stock market commentators like to fret about double-dip recessions, especially in the last few years, you would think that one came along every week, but the truth is they are very rare. There has only been one in the last 50 years, in the early 1980s. What we have now is not a recession, just very slow growth. It’s more of a dippy recovery than a double-dip recession.
-Conrad de Aenlle