CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — How do we know we’re in a recession? The numbers indicate that we may already be there.
People think the feds dictate when we’re in a recession. It actually comes from a committee of a private non-profit group called the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).
Traditionally and according to the US Bureau of Economic Analysis, two consecutive quarters of negative gross domestic product (GDP) growth have signaled periods of recession.
The first quarter settled at -1.6. According to the Atlanta Federal Reserve’s GDPNow estimate on Friday, it sits at -1.2.
Noe Villalobos runs a food truck and said it’s been a struggle. He struggles to find the necessities to operate his truck, having to travel to other major cities.
“I can see the change right now where we can’t find a lot of stuff,” said Villalobos, owner of El General Food Truck. “A lot of things get expensive. We used to run the truck for, say, a few thousand dollars. Now it takes three times as much.
Mark Schaberg, operating partner of Brewster Street Icehouse doesn’t think we’re there yet. He said the restaurant and attractions industries are having a good summer.
“The customers are always there,” said Schaberg, also operating partner of Concrete Street Amphitheater. “People aren’t going to stay home. They’re just looking for that great value and we think we offer that here at Brewster’s.
Schaberg says customers will show when we’re in a recession.
“Consumer confidence is important,” he said. “And so if you look at the media, of course the prices of petrol and food and so on are going up. One of the things we strive to do here in Brewster Street is to create a value experience .
Since GDP figures are usually released quarterly, the NBER looks at the factors on a monthly basis to get a picture of a recession. They examine employment, personal income and industrial production.
The unusual part of having negative GDP is that unemployment stayed at 3.6% for 4 months. 5.9 million Americans are unemployed, close to the number before the Covid-19 pandemic. According to the Institute for Supply Management, the manufacturing and service sectors are also on a growth trajectory.
We will know more when the estimated second quarter GDP is released on July 28.
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