Here is the definition of a Recession:

A recession is a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales. A recession begins just after the economy reaches a peak of activity and ends as the economy reaches its trough. Between trough and peak, the economy is in an expansion. Expansion is the normal state of the economy; most recessions are brief and they have been rare in recent decades.

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Links:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_2000s_recession
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recession
www.howstuffworks.com/recession.htm
www.investopedia.com/terms/r/recession.asp

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