Second quarter advance report of a negative number raises debate about recession.

The advance report for second quarter Real GDP was released as a drop of 0.9%. This is the second consecutive quarter of negative growth. For some, this is the popular definition of a recession. For others, it is not a recession since the components did not reflect a decline. Job growth has been positive. Consumer spending on a real basis was positive. Durable goods orders remained strong. These sectors must decline to define a recession. Personal consumption expenditures which make up 70% of our economy expanded by 1.0% even after factoring rising prices. The nature of that spending continues to shift from goods to services. Service sector spending grew by 4.1% while goods purchases declined by 4.4%.