Economic Data and Growth

Input Stories

Economists: U.S. May Avoid Recession

Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal (subscription)—including NAM Chief Economist Chad Moutray—say they now believe that the U.S. will likely avoid a recession.

What’s going on: “In the latest quarterly survey by The Wall Street Journal, business and academic economists lowered the probability of a recession within the next year, from 54% on average in July to a more optimistic 48%. That is the first time they have put the probability below 50% since the middle of last year.”

  • Economists on average expect gross domestic product to increase 2.2% in Q4 of this year from a year earlier, which is “a sharp upward revision” from the last survey.

Why it’s happening: Playing a role in the revised outlook are declining inflation, an interest rate that the Federal Reserve has held steady at its past two meetings, a robust job market and surprisingly strong recent economic growth.

A “soft landing”: While that growth and job creation are both expected to weaken in the first half of next year, “the latest forecasts suggest confidence in the Fed’s ability to achieve a so-called soft landing, in which inflation falls without a recession.”

  • However, recent events—such as the Israel–Hamas war—could alter the accuracy of these predictions, given the potential effect on energy prices.

Our take: “Despite weaknesses in manufacturing demand and production and a multitude of challenges globally, consumers and businesses continue to spend, providing resilience to the U.S. economy,” Moutray told us.

  • “Even with recent cooling, the labor market and wage growth remain solid, and firms continue to make investments in the domestic market. While real GDP is likely to slow in the next few quarters following a very strong Q3, the ‘soft landing’ scenario has become more probable in recent months.”
View More