Is the US in recession? It's not all about GDP

STORY: Some early estimates say the U.S. economy shrank from April to June, as measured by GDP

Add to that the decline in Q1, and the often-cited rule of thumb says America is in recession

But deciding when a recession has begun isn't that straightforward

Rather than a broad measure like GDP, economists will look at jobs, industrial production and incomes

There has never been a recession declared without a loss of employment

And hundreds of thousands of jobs are being added monthly in the U.S.

Industrial production, a metric used to declare the 2001 recession, has also been rising steadily through May

A closer to real-time recession indicator, called the Sahm rule, is based on the unemployment rate

It shows no sign of a U.S. downturn, with unemployment below 4% since January

Still, personal consumption data from May has sparked a host of gloomy forecasts

And that’s increased speculation that a downturn is coming soon, if it is not already here