Often when there is an episode of low output growth, a debate takes place: Whether the downturn/recession is due to structural factors or is it cyclical.
I understand that the analysis is largely based on statistical estimation wherein it is checked whether there is decline in trend growth or it's the beginning of trough in business cycles.
How do I understand this in terms of pure economics? Broadly I think answer lies in understanding causes of business cycles. But without statistical estimation, how can one argue that a recession is cyclical or due to structural changes?