(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy entered a recession in February as the coronavirus struck the nation, a group of economists declared Monday, ending the longest expansion on record.
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“The unprecedented magnitude of the decline in employment and production, and its broad reach across the entire economy, warrants the designation of this episode as a recession, even if it turns out to be briefer than earlier contractions,” the NBER panel said.
In this May 7, 2020 file photo, a pedestrian walks by The Framing Gallery, closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in Grosse Pointe, Mich. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)
The way the NBER defines recessions, they begin in the same month that the previous expansion ends.
Because the economy peaked in February, that is the month when the recession officially began, rather than in March, when unemployment began to rise.
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Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton, an accounting firm, said the NBER committee might end up declaring this recession to have already ended in May based on the fact that hiring rebounded that month.