How recessions haunted three presidents, and how two others recovered

U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) shrunk between April and June, according to data released Thursday by the Commerce Department, marking the second-straight quarter of economic contraction.


Two straight quarters of negative economic growth have long been used as a rule of thumb to determine when the U.S. is in recession and is the formal threshold for a recession in other countries. But economists in the U.S. consider a broader range of data when determining if the U.S. is in recession.