The folks at the National Bureau of Economic Research have decided that yes, the U.S. economy is in recession. And what's more, we've been in it for a year. Here's how the NBER put it:
"Evidence other than the ambiguous movements of the quarterly product-side measure of domestic production confirmed that conclusion. Many of these indicators, including monthly data on the largest component of GDP, consumption, have declined sharply in recent months."
I'm guessing you had other signs that life had gotten harder.
Correction: If you're getting the daily newsletter -- sign up over on the right -- you might have noticed that I called the NBER a government board. It's not, as Simon Johnson helpfully points out. The NBER is an independent research organization run by academics and based in Cambridge, Mass.