WASHINGTON (February 9): TOP Government officials here are playing a new word game over a serious matter - what is a recession? President Nixon fuelled the controversy last week when he told Congress 'there will be no recession in the United States of America.' Everyone agrees the U.S. economy is dragging its feet. Unemployment is creeping higher because of oil prices and production is slowing. Private economists are saying flatly that the nation may be stumbling into a recession. The Treasury Secretary, Mr George Shultz, said there will be no recession 'as we define it.' Mr Nixon's chairman of his three-member economic advisory group, Mr Herbert Stein, said 'a recession is a state of mind - a recession is a slow-down when the other political party is power.' Today Mr Stein told a congressional committee that he accepts a definition by a Government bureau that a recession is an extended, substantial and widespread decline in aggregate economic activity.