The United States economy shrank by 0.6 percent in the spring, cementing a start of a recession.

The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), which tracks downturns, defines recessions as two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth and are characterized by high unemployment, low or negative GDP growth, falling income, and slowing retail sales.

With back-to-back declines in growth, the economy meets the technical criteria for a recession, which requires a “significant decline in economic activity that is spread across the economy and that lasts more than a few months.” Still, the NBER

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