Most of the country's business economists expect a US recession to start later this year than previously forecast, after a series of reports said a surprisingly resilient economy despite rising interest rates.
Fifty-eight percent of the 48 economists who responded to a survey by the National Association for Business Economics expect a recession sometime this year, the same proportion who said so in the NABE survey in December. But only a quarter think a recession will have started by the end of March, only half the proportion who thought so in December.
The findings, reflecting a survey of business economists, trade associations and academics, were published on Monday.
A third of the economists who responded to the survey now expect a recession to start in the April-June quarter. A fifth think it will start in the July-September quarter.
The delay in economists' expectations for when a recession will begin follows a series of government reports pointing to an economy still strong even after the Federal Reserve has raised interest rates eight times in a strenuous effort to slow the downturn. growth and curbing high inflation. .
In January, employers added more than half a million jobs and the unemployment rate reached 3.4%, the lowest level since 1969.
And sales in retail stores and restaurants rose 3% in January , the steepest monthly gain in nearly two years. That suggested that consumers as a whole, who drive most of the economy's growth, still feel financially healthy and willing to spend.
At the same time, various government statements also showed that inflation spiked again in January after weakening for several months, stoking fears that the Fed will raise its benchmark rate even more than previously expected. When the Fed raises its key rate, it typically leads to more expensive mortgages, car loans, and credit card loans. Business loan interest rates also increase.
Tighter credit can then weaken the economy and even trigger a recession. The economic research published on Friday found that the Fed has never succeeded in bringing inflation down from the high levels it has recently reached without causing a recession.