When is a recession not a recession?

When it is a "global" recession, as defined by the International Monetary Fund

By Andrew Leonard
Published April 15, 2008 12:08AM (UTC)
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I am embarrassed. I made a bit of a fuss, last week, over the news that the International Monetary Fund is now predicting a one-in-four chance of a global recession occurring in the next twelve months. But I did not read the entire World Economic Outlook released by the IMF, and I missed the annoying little fact that the IMF defines a global recession, rather peculiarly, as under 3 percent growth. That is significantly different from how we define recessions in the United States -- where we actually mean negative GDP growth for at least two fiscal quarters.

Credit for taking me out to the woodshed and explaining the errors of my ways goes to Felix Salmon, who blogs prodigiously at Portfolio.com. I just thank heavens I don't get the same kind of attention (yet) that he devotes to Ben Stein.

Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Globalization Great Recession How The World Works