Economists predict high likelihood of 2020 year end recession in USBusiness | 10 Dec 2019 7:27 pm
The business economists in the US expect economic growth to decelerate this year and next but for the economy to avoid stumbling into recession, extending a record-breaking expansion already in its 11th year.
The latest survey by 53 forecasters with the National Association for Business Economics shows that they expect economic growth to slow from 2.9 percent last year to 2.3 percent in 2019 and 1.8 percent in 2020. The forecasts are unchanged from the association’s previous survey in October.
The economists put the odds of a recession starting at 5 percent this year, 21 percent in the first half of 2020 and 43 percent by the end of next year.
However, they peg the odds of a recession by mid-2021 at 66 percent.
The American economy is likely to remain resilient this year and next, they say, despite risks arising from President Donald Trump’s trade war with China and skirmishes with other U.S. trading partners: Half the respondents call trade tensions the No. 1 downside economic risk through the end of next year.
The Federal Reserve has lowered the short-term interest rate it controls three times this year. The cuts are meant in part to offset economic damage from Trump’s trade wars, which have raised uncertainty for businesses and contributed to a drop in business investment in the April-June and July-September quarters.
The vast majority of business economists — 94 percent — do not expect the Fed to cut interest rates again this year. But they are divided over what the central bank will do next year.
The economists expect American consumers to continue driving the economy. Consumer spending, which accounted for almost all U.S. economic growth from July through September, is expected to grow a healthy 2.6 percent this year and 2.4 percent in 2020.