Looking into 2023, just about all of the leading economic indicators are quite clearly signaling that the U.S. economy is heading toward a recession, and unsurprisingly, most economists are indicating this as well. What could turn out to be a surprise to many, however, is just how long it takes to arrive. While no two recessions are ever the same, the exercise of looking at past recessions is useful in helping to put some contours around how the expected 2023 recession might shape up. Hence, in this Economics Weekly, we highlight several important features that seem to be different about this potential recession, as well as looking back at the 1990-1991 recession—which was not associated with a financial crisis or a pandemic—for comparative purposes.

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Richard de Chazal, CFA, is a London-based macroeconomist covering the U.S. economy and financial markets.