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In macroeconomics, recession or decline is a condition when gross domestic product (GDP) declines or when real economic growth is negative for two quarters or more in a year.
Recession can lead to simultaneous declines in all economic activities such as employment, investment, and corporate profits. Recession is often associated with falling prices (deflation), or, conversely, rising prices sharply (inflation) in a process known as stagflation.
A long-standing economic recession is called an economic depression. A drastic reduction in the economic rate (usually due to severe depression, or due to hyperinflation) is called economic collapse. Columnist Sidney J. Harris distinguishes the top terms in this way: "a recession is when your neighbor loses a job; depression is when you are out of a job."