Double dip. The infamous Seinfeld phrase has taken on a whole new meaning when discussing the economy’s latest prospects.
The latest stock-market swoon has folks concerned that the recovering economy may now be “double-dipping” back into recession. It’s still too early to tell whether this is the case, but recent economic data point to the economy expanding at a much slower rate than previously anticipated.
Of course, a “double dip” may not be possible, considering the Great Recession still hasn’t officially come to an end, at least according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. Robert Hall, chairman of NBER’s economic dating cycle committee, sheds some light on declaring double dips, in an interview with the AP.
In Hall’s view, a double dip is akin to a continuous recession that’s punctuated by a period of growth, then followed by a further decline in the economy.
The NBER doesn’t define a double dip any more specifically than that, says Hall, an economics professor at Stanford University.
In econo-speak, Hall explains: “The idea — hypothetical because it has yet to happen — is that activity might rise for a period, but not far enough to complete a cycle, then fall again, and finally rise above its original level, only then completing the cycle.”
But that hasn’t stopped bloggers and economists from weighing in on the double-dip debate.