McCain: Maybe we’re in a recession, maybe not?

McCain has made the statement that he believes the country is in a recession, well sort of. Then he admitted he doesn’t want to quibble over the “definition” of a recession.

Report on it from The Hill:

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Monday that he believes the country is in a recession.

“Americans are hurting today,” McCain said at an Associated Press forum in Washington, D.C., adding, “These are very, very tough times in America.”

While McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, said he thinks the country is in a recession, he noted that he is more worried about helping people who are facing “enormous challenges,” rather than figuring out what the technical definition of a recession is.

Call me crazy, but I’d like to have presidential candidates know what constitutes a recession and what constitutes an economic downturn.

I will help school McCain in this area, from the all-knowing Investopedia:

A significant decline in activity spread across the economy, lasting longer than a few months. It is visible in industrial production, employment, real income and wholesale-retail trade. The technical indicator of a recession is two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth as measured by a country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Recession is a normal (albeit unpleasant) part of the business cycle. A recession generally lasts from six to 18 months.

Interest rates usually fall in recessionary times to stimulate the economy by offering cheap rates at which to borrow money.

Very simple, two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth equates to a recession. Therefore, by definition, McCain is wrong. It doesn’t matter though because politicians like to toss words around. Plus, most voters don’t actually know what constitutes a recession so candidates never get called on it.