What's a Recession?

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Bob Von der Ohe teaches a class Tuesday night at Rockford College. His focus is our nation's economy, which he says is heading toward a recession. "I would say we probably are entering into one. I mean we had a very significant slowdown I think in the last quarter of last year,"
Von der Ohe said. But what is a recession all about? Von der Ohe says the standard definition is when our country's gross domestic product, a measure of economic output, drops in value for two consecutive quarters, or 6 months. And he says, we're already seeing some of the results in the Stateline with the Chrysler layoffs. "The primary one for most people is that the unemployment rate starts to go up," Von der Ohe said. There are other factors pointing to a recession, like the current slowing housing market, overwhelming credit card debt, and a drop in consumer confidence and retail sales. "You put all of these things together and it's hard to see anything positive going on," Von der Ohe said. He says an impending recession won't be like what we saw back in the 80's when Rockford and the rest of the nation was hit hard. But rather like the more milder ones over the last decade. And as far as the tangible feelings for you and me...."Cutback in my spending and build up my savings just in case," Von der Ohe said, So brace yourselfs for pehaps a little less shopping in the new year. Van dor Ohr says the upcoming recession that he's anticiapting will probably last until late summer of this year followed by a slow economic recovery.

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