Monday, May 29News For London

WTF is a Recession? And are we in one?

(Image credits: Unsplash)

I wanted to explain what a recession is.

Because you will be hearing this word a lot lately and depending on how bad it gets, you are likely to feel its effects.

So what exactly is a recession?

Recession is a term used to describe a slowdown in a country’s economic activity. This can be seen as a decline in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), increased unemployment, and decreased industrial production, trade, and investment. A recession is typically considered to be a more severe form of economic slowdown, lasting longer than a simple dip in the business cycle.

Now, I know I didn’t explain anything and might have made it sound more complicated.

So let me explain it in the form of a story.

Let’s take an example of a small town called “Happyville”. 

Happyville was a thriving community with businesses, shops, and factories that provided employment to its residents. People in Happyville were happy as they had jobs, money to spend, and a comfortable standard of living. However, one day, the biggest factory in Happyville closed down. This was a huge blow to the town’s economy as many people lost their jobs, and businesses started to suffer as people had less money to spend. This caused a chain reaction as other small businesses started to close down, and the unemployment rate in Happyville increased.

As time passed, the situation in Happyville continued to deteriorate and the town found itself in the midst of a recession. People were struggling to make ends meet, and the once-thriving community was now facing economic hardship.

The situation in Happyville is similar to what happens during a recession on a larger scale. A recession can occur due to various factors such as a decrease in consumer spending, an increase in government regulations, a decrease in investment, and natural disasters.

Governments can respond to a recession by implementing various measures to boost the economy. These measures can include increasing government spending, cutting taxes, reducing interest rates, and providing financial support to businesses and individuals.

It is important to note that a recession is a normal part of the business cycle and can be a necessary adjustment for the economy. However, the impact of a recession on individuals and businesses can be severe, and it can take time for an economy to recover fully.

In the case of Happyville, the government intervened by providing financial assistance to small businesses and investing in infrastructure projects to create more job opportunities. Gradually, the economy of Happyville started to recover, and people were able to find employment again. The town returned to its former prosperity, and the residents of Happyville were once again happy and content.

In conclusion, a recession is a period of economic slowdown that can have a significant impact on individuals, businesses, and the economy as a whole. It is important for governments to respond quickly and effectively to support the economy and help it recover. By understanding the causes and effects of a recession, we can be better prepared to weather the storm and emerge stronger on the other side.

Ok, but why is it important to know this?

Well because we might be heading into one.

There are several factors that could contribute to a global recession. Some of the main reasons include:

  1. The slowdown in global economic growth: A slowdown in the global economy, particularly in major economies such as the United States, China, and the European Union, could lead to a recession.
  2. Trade tensions: Trade tensions between major economies, such as the United States and China, could reduce global trade and impact economic growth.
  3. Rising interest rates: Rising interest rates can lead to a decrease in investment and consumer spending, which can slow down economic growth and trigger a recession.
  4. Political uncertainty: Political uncertainty, such as Brexit in Europe or political turmoil in other countries, can create a climate of uncertainty and reduce investor confidence, leading to a slowdown in the economy.
  5. Natural disasters or pandemics: Natural disasters or pandemics, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, can disrupt supply chains and reduce consumer spending, leading to a slowdown in economic growth.

But wait, what does this have to do with the UK?

Because we might be heading into another economic problem.

Interest rates have increased as the Bank of England has sought to lower the rise of prices down to a more reasonable level, despite the fact that inflation is still at a significant level and reached a 41-year high in October 2022. Its most recent action was on the 2nd of February 2023 increase of 0.5 percentage points.

The cost of living has increased and economic development has slowed significantly and appears to be headed in the wrong direction. Everyone in the nation faces significant hurdles as a result of this atmosphere.

Consumers are less likely to make large purchases as employment stability declines. Both of these consequences result in lower tax revenue for the government, which may limit the government’s ability to fund public spending. 

Although unexpected economic growth has surprised experts, two slightly different perspectives on the type of recession the UK may face this year have emerged in recent days. While the Bank of England is more optimistic about how severe the economic downturn will be, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts that the UK will have the worst economic performance in the G7 this year.

What does this all mean?


The UK might be going into a recession because things like less spending, lower profits for businesses, and more unemployment are happening in the country. When these things happen, it means the economy is slowing down, and that’s called a recession.