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Economy

Report: Probability Of Recession Soars

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Joe Biden

Economists estimate that the probability of the United States entering a recession is at “44% in the next 12 months, a level usually seen only on the brink of or during actual recessions,” according to a survey from The Wall Street Journal released over the weekend.

“Since the Journal began asking the question in mid-2005, a 44% recession probability is seldom seen outside of an actual recession,” the report stated. “In December 2007, the month that the 2007-to-2009 recession began, economists assigned a 38% probability. In February 2020, when the last recession began, they assigned a 26% probability.”

“Forecasters have raised recession probability due to a number of factors: higher borrowing costs, a blistering pace of inflation, supply-chain problems and commodity-price shocks stemming from the war in Ukraine,” the report added. “Mostly, however, they see dimming chances that a steeper path of rate increases by the Fed can cool inflation without inducing higher unemployment and an economic downturn.”

The survey comes shortly after the Bureau of Economic Analysis announced that the United States economy shrank at a 1.5% annual rate during the first quarter of 2022.

Along with a shrinking economy, inflation in the United States has reached the highest level since December 1981 as prices in May 2022 rose 1% from previous month and 8.6% from the year before, according to a separate report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Despite the terrible economic numbers, President Biden told reporters last week not to believe warnings from economists about a recession.

“You’ve got serious economists who warn of a recession next year… What should Americans believe?” AP reporter Josh Boak asked Biden.

“They shouldn’t believe a warning. They should just say: ‘Let’s see. Let’s see, which is correct,” Biden responded.

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Economy

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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Economy

Biden’s Fed Chairman: Solving Inflation ‘Highly Likely To Involve Some Pain’ For Americans

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On Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said that solving the inflation crisis is “highly likely” to cause pain to Americans but that it would be less painful than not addressing inflation.

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,” he 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,” Powell added.

Powell’s comments come as inflation has reached the highest rate in more than 40 years with prices rising 8.6% from May 2021 to May 2022, according to a new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In order to bring down inflation, the Federal Reserve increased the interest rate by 0.75% earlier this month – the highest increase since 1994 – and warned of additional increases in the interest rate in the future.

“The three-quarter-point hike brings the federal funds rate to between 1.5% and 1.75%. The federal funds rate dictates what it costs for banks to borrow money from each other. And, generally, higher interest rates mean it’s more expensive for consumers to get a mortgage, obtain a loan to buy a vehicle and to carry a balance on a credit card,” NBC News reported. “The expected effect of these changes is that consumers will spend less and the heightened demand for goods — one of the drivers of inflation — will slow down.”

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