These are the most important indicators economists and forecasters are watching.
A growing number of economists predict that the United States is headed for a recession in the next year. Polls have found that some Americans believe we’re already in one. But regardless of the dim forecasts and souring mood among Americans, it could take a while before we actually know if and when the country has tipped into a recession.
“By the time a recession is officially called, we’ll be either well into it or almost exiting,” said Josh Bivens, the director of research at the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute.
Recessions in the US are officially declared by a committee of eight economists at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). There is no hard timetable for determining recessions, but it often takes a year before the committee makes an announcement. (There are some common rules of thumb, like two quarters of negative gross domestic product — but these aren’t hard-and-fast rules, and even those metrics are backward-looking.)