- Entries A-Z
An economic situation characterized by decreasing business activity, falling price levels, high unemployment, excess supply, deflation, and public fear. An economic crisis that is less severe and considered a more normal part of a business cycle is usually known as a recession. A recession is defined as two consecutive quarterly declines in gross national product. If a recession continues long enough, it could develop into a depression. While recessions are typically limited to a single nation, depressions, such as the Great Depression, can encompass many countries. Although the transition point from a recession into a depression is not clearly defined, it has been noted that a decline in gross domestic product of more than 10% constitutes a depression.
Throughout the 18th century, depressions primarily had noneconomic ...