Major warning: U.S. economy on the brink of recession

In this post:

  • The U.S. economy faces a 59% risk of recession by July 2024, down from a 64% prediction in March 2023.
  • The Federal Reserve’s fast and high interest rate hikes historically lead to business cycle downturns.
  • Despite economic slowdown and tighter lending standards, consumers continue spending and the labor market remains active.

Barely escaping a 3-in-5 likelihood, the U.S. economy finds itself precariously positioned on the edge of a potential recession by July 2024.

A precipitous fall in these odds, from a staggering 64 percent in March 2023, underscores the growing concern and uncertainty among economists. This downturn looms over the economic landscape, a thundercloud waiting to release its tempest.

Rising rates and recession risks

The Federal Reserve’s aggressive strategy, akin to meteorological storms, appears to be an inevitable aspect of the business cycle. The interest rates have surged to a level unseen since 2007, matching the hastiness of hikes observed in the 1980s.

Historically, such swift and steep escalation has invariably led to a business cycle downturn. Chief Economist at Fact and Opinion Economics, Robert Brusca, points out that it usually takes a real fed funds rate of 3 percent or higher to trigger a recession.

Thus far, inflation has never been tamed without the economy taking a hit. However, an intriguing anomaly in the U.S. economic narrative is the absence of an expected downturn.

The economy has indeed cooled off since the expansive reopening after pandemic-induced confinements, and the string of bank failures earlier this year has resulted in tightened lending standards. However, consumer spending continues unabated, and the labor market is still in full swing.

Recession odds have dipped to their lowest in a year since experts projected a 52 percent chance of an economic downturn between June 2022 and December 2023.

This forecast came in a stark contrast to the first quarter of 2022, when the economists estimated a modest 31 percent chance of recession from March 2022 to October 2023.

Back in the Q1 2022 survey, U.S. central bank officials anticipated an interest rate hike to a peak target range of 2.75-3 percent. Contrary to these expectations, rates skyrocketed to a target range of 5-5.25 percent. Further interest rate hikes are on the horizon, according to updated projections.

President and Chief Economist of Markstein Advisors, Bernard Markstein, highlights that the aftereffects of these interest rate increases are still seeping into the economy.

He anticipates a likely mild recession beginning in late 2023 or early 2024. The current financial sector issues, a consequence of higher interest rates, reinforce Markstein’s belief that the U.S. economy is careening towards a recession.

Is the U.S. economy dancing on a tightrope?

Despite the existing labor market situation, economists are forecasting a recession. Multiple factors have postponed the anticipated recession, including the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment in January, China’s economic reopening, easing financial conditions following the March banking crisis, and the labor market’s enduring resilience. Nevertheless, these factors are gradually losing steam.

As the tightening monetary policy takes center stage, a mild economic downturn is anticipated by the end of the year. The U.S. economy, it seems, is not yet out of the woods.

Instead, it is in a race against time, attempting to catch up with the ongoing monetary tightening and its ripple effects. As with any storm, only time will tell if the U.S. economy will weather this one, or find itself in the throes of a recession.

Disclaimer: The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decision.

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