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Atlanta Fed’s GDP Tracker Shows United States May Be In A Recession

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Joe Biden

The United States has likely entered a recession, according to the Federal Reserve’s key gauge for measuring economic activity.

The Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow measure, which tracks economic data in real time and continuously adjusts projections, says that the United States economy will shrink by 2.1% in the second quarter. A 2.1% contraction in the second quarter paired with the first quarter’s decline of 1.6% would meet the definition of a recession.

“GDPNow has a strong track record, and the closer we get to July 28th’s release [of the initial Q2 GDP estimate] the more accurate it becomes,” wrote Nicholas Colas, co-founder of DataTrek Research.

The tracker fell dramatically last week from an estimate of 0.3% after data “showing further weakness in consumer spending and inflation-adjusted domestic investment prompted the cut that put the April-through-June period into negative territory,” CNBC reported.

“One big change in the quarter has been rising interest rates,” CNBC added. “In an effort to curb surging inflation, the Fed has jacked up its benchmark borrowing rate by 1.5 percentage points since March, with more increases likely to come through the remainder of the year and perhaps into 2023.”

Last week, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned that the decision to fight inflation by increasing interest rates was “highly likely” to cause pain to Americans.

During the European Central Bank forum, host Francine Laqua asked Powell, “If you’re speaking out to the American people to try and help them understand how long it will take for, you know, monetary policy to go back to something that resembles normalcy … what would you tell them?”

“I would say that we fully understand and appreciate … the pain people are going through dealing with higher inflation, that we have the tools to address that and the resolve to use them, and that we are committed to and will succeed in getting inflation down to two percent,” Powell responded.

“The process is likely, highly likely to involve some pain, but the worst pain would be from failing to address this high inflation and allowing it to become persistent,” he added.

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