In many ways, economic recessions are a lot like the flu.
Like that particular viral infection, some cases of financial turmoil can be significantly worse than others, and certain behaviors tend to increase their likelihood. But when they’ll strike is notoriously unpredictable, and no matter how many precautions the U.S. takes – no matter how much metaphorical hand sanitizer the economy burns through – there’s no surefire guarantee that it will make it into next week, next month or next year completely healthy.
The Great Recession was the worst downturn the economy’s suffered in decades. And although the U.S. has slowly but surely recuperated, another recession will strike again.
In fact, the economy could already be in trouble.
“Most recessions happen for a different reason each time,” says Tara Sinclair, chief economist for employment site Indeed. “So if we’re just too obsessed with the reasons that caused the first one, we may miss what causes the second one.”