The regulated recession: What we’ve learned over 14 years

If 2021 and 2022 had a winner of the year, it would be homeowners. This span of time produced a sellers’ market as interest rates hit record lows and home prices soared – with homes selling almost as fast as they were listed. In addition, refinancing boomed as homeowners looked to reduce their monthly payments and cash in on their home equity. But, every peak has its valley, and the excitement started to diminish as talks and debates of a recession started to stir.

One might think recessions of the past would easily help to determine if we are in one or about to be without much question (2008 wasn’t that long ago, right?). However, what we learned from 2008 (aka The Great Recession) along with subsequent changes and advances (like how financial institutions can better protect themselves), and of course – the pandemic – over the last 14 years have ultimately altered how accurately we can predict future recessions and their potential effects on the economy.

Recession 101

As a refresher, what exactly constitutes a recession? According to the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), a recession is the period between a peak of economic activity and its subsequent lowest point and involves a significant decline in economic activity that is spread across the economy and lasts more than a few months. 

Recession indicators measure a variety of economic activities, such as two consecutive quarters of negative gross domestic product growth (GDP), but also historically include:

 

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