Author Archives: James_Hamilton

Is this a recession?

The Bureau of Economic Analysis announced today that seasonally adjusted U.S. real GDP fell at a 0.9% annual rate in the first quarter. That makes two quarters in a row of falling real GDP, which is one rule of thumb for declaring the economy to be in a recession. The current economic weakness could certainly develop into a recession. But the evidence isn’t convincing that a recession is already under way.
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Oil sanctions and recession

After a wild ride up to $130 a barrel, the price of oil has come back down to its level from before Russia invaded Ukraine. Russian oil may be finding buyers despite the sanctions, and U.S. production continues to recover. But the situation remains very uncertain, and a big disruption in the quantity of Russian oil that reaches world refineries is a very significant possibility. In my previous post, I examined the causes of the run-up in the price of oil that had already occurred before the invasion and discussed the implications for U.S. inflation. Today I comment on the possible implications of further supply disruptions for U.S. real GDP.
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Oil prices and inflation

The price of oil has doubled from its value a year ago and could increase much more if there are significant reductions in the quantity of Russian oil that reaches world refineries. This is the first in a series of two posts on what these events could mean for the U.S. economy. Today I focus on the implications for inflation, and in a follow-up post I will discuss implications for real GDP.
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