The government recently said that the economy grew at a 1% annual rate in Q2, down from its initial estimate of a 1.3% pace and not much better than Q1’s 0.4% growth rate. With the two most recent quarters posting growth rates below 1%, recession worries have increased as periods of 1% growth or less have preceded nine of the past 11 recessions. Year-over-year GDP now stands at 1.5% which is again below the level at the onset of all the recessions since the first quarterly GDP was calculated — with one exception: The six-month recession in 1980 started in a quarter with lower GDP (1.4%). On only one occasion (Q1 2007) has GDP dropped below 1.5% without a recession starting in same quarter—but in that case the recession began three quarters later in December 2007.

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