Why should recession be measured in growth of GDP or money at all for that matter? Doesn't the problem with recession have to do with the subjective gap between economic expectations and what is actually achieved? This is the only reason why inflation or deflation should cause problems, technically. People get stressed by higher prices, or their money not stretching as far during inflation; even though their income should be growing proportionately. With deflation, people get stressed from the supply-side and worry that decreasing prices will generate less revenue and they will fall behind in terms of wealth, not realizing that wealth is relative to the value of money. So measuring recession in monetary terms seems to promote the idea that economic well-being should always be measured in flows of money relative to some previous rate of flow. If average debt was a fraction of what it was when GDP growth was high, and people had more economic freedom of choice as a result, GDP-growth measures would still claim that the economy wasn't going as well as when GDP-growth was higher. Then, if government would promote debt as a means of stimulating GDP-growth, people could end up back in debt only to be told that the economy has "recovered." Is economics sane?