@Mammmood - That’s a good point. However, from my observation, GDP is not often skewed in a way that belies that meaning of the numbers.
I find charts to be very useful in this regard. You can see how the GDP growth is trending over time, and the moment that it starts trending downward – especially if it’s two consecutive quarters – you know that you’ve entered a recession.
During this time the pundits like to pontificate on why businesses aren’t spending, or consumers aren’t buying or why no one is responding to government stimulus. It’s like a chicken and egg game.
The good news is that economies eventually do recover, at least from what I’ve seen. Whether the GDP figures reflect the recovery right away or take a quarter or two to show the change is another matter.
But I do agree with you that it’s important to look beneath the headlines to really know what’s going on.