Is Recession Really Around the Corner?

Kyle Nisbet, News Writer

     “Recession” is one word that recently has become a major buzzword for news corporations to try and attract views, but what really is it? A recession is officially defined by the dictionary as a fall in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for two consecutive quarters of a year. A recession is usually accompanied by a falling stock market, increasing unemployment, and panic. One thing that is important to remember is that recessions would usually come according to the economic “Boom and Bust Cycle”, but the hard part that economists seek to learn is when they might come, and what would cause them, and how to lessen their impact.

      One popular idea in current economic theory is that recessions are actually caused by the same people, average citizens trying to avoid them. For example, when a business hears that there may be a recession coming, they stop hiring, maybe even skimp on their budget, which, when performed on a large scale, then raises unemployment, decreases overall spending, and leads to a decrease in GDP, and a recession. And many today are dissatisfied with the US economy, which threatens the stability of Wall Street and the economy. When asked what she thought about the US economy, math teacher Mrs. Bailey said that she “cannot predict the future, but I do think there’s going to be a correction in the market coming up. While I think that nationally the economy is good right now there’s still a very large portion of our population who are not benefiting. There are still many many people who are struggling to make ends meet and live up to a standard which I think should be available for everybody.” One effect of a recession that the average person would encounter is that of a Bear Market, or a scenario where stock prices decrease for the seemingly long term. For example, in 2008 many stock indexes dropped about 40%, but within six years, the market had basically recovered. For the approximately 100 year history of the S&P 500, a major stock index, those six years would only be a blimp. When asked about it, Estelle Hegenbarth’ 21 said “I think it will definitely be interesting to see what happens in the future.” One reason she and many other people say that is because everyone thinks that maybe it might be different this time. This is due to “Quantitative Easing”, a fancy term for when The Federal Reserve brings new money into the economy. Doing this is supposed to ease a recession, and prevent one. Also, nowadays, most people assume that all recessions are like 2008, but the financial crisis, was a seperate, but related event, that just exacerbated the recession. Therefore, economists and people alike cannot completely predict what will happen, but, we do have somewhat of an idea based on past events, research, and new changes.

     Another key aspect of a recession is usually that there is a crucial national or global event that helps to set off the spark. For example, in 2008 it was the near collapse of the financial system due to fraudulent activity. That is one reason that the market was hit so badly. Recently, many believe that Trump’s Trade War could spark a global recession as it affects the two main economic superpowers today, The People’s Republic of China and The United States of America. Another catalyst could be the Coronavirus as it has caused various factories in China to close which limits American suppliers, and disrupts the global economy, in addition to all of the deaths. One big question everyone has is whether or not it will be cured/fixed sometime soon. The economy is also a part of the election cycle, for better or worse, even if some aspects are out of the president’s control. For example, people have reason to believe that Trump is waiting until he gets elected to possibly start a recession, as he considers the rising stock market and low unemployment, two key parts of a growth cycle, hallmarks for his campaign. However, as Alex Saville’ 21 put it, “regardless of politics, economics and the various boom-bust cycles must go on.”