Economists say there is no doubt that Canada is experiencing a recession, but the exact criteria determining one is underway can be fraught with confusion. Broadly speaking, a recession is a period of business contraction where economic activity declines. But what exactly constitutes a decline, and over what time period, is the subject of much debate. An often-cited definition is two consecutive quarters of negative gross domestic product (GDP). Some economists prefer the C.D. Howe Institute’s definition of a “pronounced, persistent and pervasive decline in aggregate economic activity” based on both GDP and employment metrics.