The United States experienced its first recession in 1789
The United States experienced its first recession in 1789. The country subsequently suffered through four severe depressions in the 1800s, as well as the Great Depression (1929–39). Although there have been no depressions in the United States since World War II (1939–45), there have been many recessions. In the severe recession known as the Great Recession, which lasted from December 2007 to June 2009, GDP declined by 4.3 percent. Governments monitor the business cycle closely and take various steps to stabilize the economy before it reaches extreme peaks and troughs. Formerly, the typical stages in the business cycle were listed as depression, recovery, prosperity, and recession. Today, the stages are usually referred to as trough, upswing, peak, and recession (Riggs, 2015).
A recession is a downturn in the business cycle that occurs when the real gross domestic product (GDP) the total output of goods and services produced by the U.S. population, declines for at least two consecutive quarters, or six months (Riggs, 2015).