The Federal Reserve’s key real-time model for tracking US economic activity has turned negative, signaling that the nation could already have entered a recession.

The GDPNow gauge, a widely watched measurement from the Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank, indicated Thursday that real gross domestic product shrank by 1.0% in the second quarter from April through June.

While the official advance estimate of Q2 performance will not be released for another month, this preliminary reading shows the second quarter in a row of negative growth in the economy after GDP contracted 1.6% in Q1.

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If further readings confirm that the economy did, indeed, shrink in Q2, the technical criteria for a recession – which is defined by two consecutive quarters of negative growth – will be met. However, the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) is the authority that makes the official determination.

Economists expect some economic slowdown from the interest rate hikes that the Fed implemented as it attempts to rein in inflation, which hit a four-decade high in May.

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Fed Chair Jerome Powell said Wednesday that there was some risk that policymakers might go too far in slowing economic growth, but that failing to bring inflation to heel represents a greater risk.

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The GDPNow tracker already signaled earlier this month that the economy was headed for imminent recession, when it showed two weeks ago that economic growth in the spring fell flat to 0%.

FOX Business’ Megan Henney contributed to this report.