I saw Wolfgang Munchau of the FT speak yesterday - he said he's almost given up using the conventional 2 qtrs of negative GDP definition for a recession ... he suggested that you needed to measure output from each of the critical sectors of the US economy - consumers, financials, tech, etc - to get to a better definition of recession ... that got me thinking about how to define recession ... I settled on the idea that its when all large sectors (ie those that represent more than 10% of output) collectively see falling output for more than 2 qtrs ... now all I need to think up a name for my new measure ... oh and back-test it!