Zagreb Map on This is the negative side of the business cycle. By definition a recession entails a declining real GDP. This is not good because it means that individuals, on average, will be able to consume fewer goods and services, thus lowering their material standard of living. With the assumption that everyone always wants more, this can only be a bad situation. This, however, is not the worst of it. When real GDP declines it does not affect everyone equally. Some people still continue to gain, others stay about the same, and others lose. Zagreb Map 2016.