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Florida recession? GDP says: Maybe

It turns out that there are many ways to arrive at an uncertain answer.

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  • | 4:50 p.m. August 18, 2022
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Here’s a new personality test for your favorite economist: Ask them whether Florida is currently in a recession.

The reasonable ones will say yes. That’s because the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reported a 0.3% decline in Florida’s GDP for the first quarter of 2022 — a smaller drop than in the first quarter of 2021 just after the pandemic started (-1.2%) and a much smaller drop than the second quarter (a whopping -8.4%), but a decline all the same. And although a recession typically gets called after two consecutive quarters of decline, and we don’t yet know Florida’s second-quarter GDP, we do know that nationwide GDP fell, and Florida GDP tracks closely to the nation’s number.

The most staid among the economist set will tell you to ask them again in October, because the BEA will publish its estimate for Q2 on Sept. 30, and then it’ll be official, barring a surprise divergence from trend.

The difficult ones will remind you this “two-quarter rule” for declaring a recession is not official policy for any government entity and that the entirety of the data should be considered for making an assessment. And considering that economics is commonly known as the “dismal science,” this is the answer you should ultimately expect.




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