The U.S. economy shrank in the last three months by 0.9%.

This is the second consecutive quarter where the economy has contracted. In the first quarter, GDP, or gross domestic product, decreased at an annual rate of 1.6%.

While two consecutive quarters of negative growth is often considered a recession, it's not an official definition.

A nonprofit, non-partisan organization called the National Bureau of Economic Research determines when the U.S. economy is in a recession.

An NBER committee made up of eight economists makes that determination and many factors go into that calculation.

The White House has pushed back against calling the current economy a recession. It is no doubt aware of the role the economy is going to play in the midterm elections.

Among other things, we'll see if household spending, which accounts for 70% of all economic activity, kept pace with inflation.

"I think a lot of it comes down to jobs," says Meyer. "Whether you have a job. Whether you expect to keep your job. And what that might mean for your future path of income."