There is no official definition of recession, but there is general recognition that the term refers to a period of decline in economic activity. Very short periods of decline are not considered recessions. Most commentators and analysts use, as a practical definition of recession, two consecutive quarters of decline in a country’s real (inflation adjusted) gross domestic product (GDP)—the value of all goods and services a country produces. Although this definition is a useful rule of thumb, it has drawbacks. A focus on GDP alone is narrow, and it is often better to consider a wider set of measures of economic activity to determine whether a country is indeed suffering a recession. Using other indicators can also provide a timelier gauge of the state of the economy.