U.S. recession officially began in February

The U.S. economy peaked in February before sliding into a recession as the coronavirus pandemic hit, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, a group that’s considered the official determiners of when recessions begin and end.

Why it matters: There was no doubt the U.S. was in the midst of a recession, given the shelter-in-place measures that brought economic activity to a near halt and caused millions of layoffs — but this is their fastest call yet, as it’s sometimes taken as long as a year to make such calls in the past.