7 Reasons a US Recession Is Still Probable

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The US economy has been experiencing a summer of low inflation, abundant job opportunities, and strong consumer spending, which has instilled confidence that the country will avoid a recession. However, there are several factors that could potentially lead to an economic downturn. These include a possible major auto strike, the resumption of student loan repayments, potential future government shutdowns, dwindling pandemic savings, soaring interest rates, and rising oil prices. Bloomberg Economics presents six reasons why a recession could be on the horizon, emphasizing that economists often struggle to predict recessions due to their non-linear nature and the difficulty of thinking about them.

One key factor contributing to the uncertainty is the policy of the Federal Reserve. While the stock market, manufacturing sector, and housing market have shown positive signs, the Fed’s interest rate hikes have yet to fully impact these sectors. The lag in the effects of rate hikes means that stocks and housing may still decline, potentially triggering an economic downturn. Furthermore, the Fed may even implement additional rate increases in the future.

In addition to the potential impact of the Fed, other indicators suggest that a recession may already be looming. Measures of income, employment, consumer spending, and factory output, which heavily influence the National Bureau of Economic Research’s determination of a recession, are already showing warning signs. Moreover, external shocks such as an auto strike, the resumption of student loan repayments, surging oil prices, rising borrowing costs, and global economic decline could further disrupt the US economy. The article highlights that despite positive consumer spending, the depletion of pandemic savings and the end of popular entertainment events could also contribute to an economic downturn.

Overall, while the US economy currently appears strong, there are indications that a recession may be on the horizon. The non-linear nature of recessions and the difficulty in predicting them contribute to the uncertainty. Factors such as lagging effects of Federal Reserve policy, warning signs in various economic indicators, and potential external shocks all point to a possible economic downturn in the near future.

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