Are we in a recession or not? What two leading economic indicators can tell us. : Planet Money So are we in a recession or not? The jury is still out, but there are some warning signs. GDP is down and inflation is up. But how much do we know about the 'indicators' that tell us how the economy is doing? Today, the stories of two of our most important indicators, the Consumer Price Index and GDP, and what they can and can't tell us about our current economic predicament.| Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at

Two recession Indicators

Two recession Indicators

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MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images
Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell speaks during a news conference in Washington, DC, on July 27, 2022. - The US Federal Reserve on July 27 again raised the benchmark interest rate by three-quarters of a percentage point in its ongoing battle to tamp down raging price pressures that are squeezing American families. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

So are we in a recession or not?

The question is back on our minds after another tough week of economic news, some not-so-great numbers and another interest rate hike from the Fed.

On today's show, deep dives into two numbers that help explain what's going on with the economy: CPI and GDP. What do they tell us? How do they help shape our expectations? And how can they be improved?

Check out this paper on grocery prices and inflation expectations, or this paper on the impact of gender roles on economic expectations to learn more about CPI.

For more on GDP, check out the RealTime Inequality website and the accompanying paper. Also, hop on over to the newsletter version of this story!

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