A recession is a period of economic decline, characterized by a decline in gross domestic product (GDP), employment, and trade, typically lasting for several months. It is considered to be a normal part of the business cycle, although the timing, duration, and severity of recessions can vary widely. During a recession, businesses may face declining demand, leading to reduced production, layoffs, and lower profits. This in turn can lead to lower consumer spending and reduced investment, further contributing to the economic decline. Recessions are typically identified by economists using various measures, such as changes in GDP, employment, industrial production, and personal income. A recession is often defined as two consecutive quarters of declining GDP, although other measures may also be used.