A recursive statement is the recursive statement portion of a recursive view definition. Its purpose is to cycle through recursively, building the eventual answer set. Unlike the seed statement component, the recursive statement component always references a recursive relation at least once, and possibly many times.
Taking the example developed in The Concept of Recursion, the code highlighted in bold typeface is the recursive statement for the definition.
CREATE RECURSIVE VIEW reachable_from (source,destination,depth) AS ( SELECT root.source, root.destination, 0 AS depth FROM flights AS root WHERE root.source = 'Paris' UNION ALL SELECT in1.source, out1.destination, in1.depth + 1 FROM reachable_from in1, flights AS out1 WHERE in1.destination = out1.source AND in1.depth <= 100);
As you can see, there are references to the recursive view being defined, reachable_from, in the FROM clause of this statement as well as in its WHERE clause, in which the column names source, destination, and depth are referenced.
All forms of negation and all forms of aggregation are banned from recursive statements to ensure that monotonicity is never violated (see the description of fixpoint semantics in The Concept of Recursion).