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In the parlance of recession shapes, the Recession of 1973–75 in the United States could be considered a U-shaped recession, because of its prolonged period of weak growth and contraction.[1].
      Percent Change From Preceding Period in Real Gross Domestic Product (annualized; seasonally adjusted);       Average GDP growth 1947–2009
Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis

The 1973–75 recession in the United States or 1970s recession was a period of economic stagnation in much of the Western world during the 1970s, putting an end to the general post-World War II economic boom. It differed from many previous recessions as being a stagflation, where high unemployment coincided with high inflation.

Among the causes were the Vietnam War, which turned out to be costly, economically, for the United States of America, the 1973 oil crisis and the fall of the Bretton Woods system. The emergence of newly industrialized countries increased competition in the metal industry, triggering a steel crisis, where industrial core areas in North America and Europe were forced to re-structure. The 1973-1974 stock market crash made the recession evident.

According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the recession in the United States lasted from November 1973 to March 1975.[2] Although the economy was expanding from 1975 to the first recession of the early 1980s, which began in January 1980, inflation remained extremely high for the rest of the decade.

During this recession, the Gross Domestic Product of the United States fell 3.2 percent. Though the recession ended in March 1975, the unemployment rate did not peak for several months. In May 1975, the rate reached its height for the cycle of 9 percent.[3] (Only two cycles have higher peaks than this, the current cycle, where the unemployment rate is currently 10% in the United States and the Early 1980s recession where unemployment peaked at 10.8% in November and December of 1982.)

The recession also lasted from 1973–75 in the United Kingdom. The GDP declined by 3.9%[4][5]or 3.37%[6] depending on the source. It took 14 quarters for the UK's GDP to recover to that at the start of recession.[4]

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