The chances of a U.S. recession within the next 12 months is now at 27 percent as economic-slowdown fears have grown in recent months amid a persistent trade war with China, pullbacks in corporate hiring and investment and a manufacturing sector that has already slipped into contraction, Bloomberg reported.
The recession probability model developed by Bloomberg economists Eliza Winger, Yelena Shulyatyeva and Andrew Husby incorporates a range of data spanning economic conditions, financial markets and gauges of underlying stress.
"Some indicators, like the yield curve, are flashing warning signs. Others, like real wage gains, not so much," Bloomberg explained.
"Forecasting just when a recession will begin is notoriously difficult, but as a downturn nears, indicators flash clearer warnings. Because different indicators show signs of strain at different points, the heat map below reflects the chance of a recession at various points in time, with each focusing on a different set of indicators," Bloomberg explained.
Many define a recession as two consecutive quarters of negative growth. The official dating committee at the National Bureau of Economic Research takes a more holistic approach, defining a recession as a “significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months.”
To be sure, one of the most respected economic gurus of modern times says a recession is a certainty.
Nobel laureate Robert Shiller warns that while the U.S. is far overdue to plunge into recession again, growing investor distrust of President Donald Trump will only make matters worse.
“There will be a recession. The question is when,” the Yale economics professor recently explained to Time.com.
“I’m tempted to say that we’re overdue for one, because this expansion will be the longest in history. That’s assuming the economy isn’t already in recession,” said Shiller, the co-founder of the Case-Shiller Index, which tracks home prices around the nation.
“I think the talk of the recession is building up. The stories are coming in which are probably related to the trade crisis. And it’s going back to a 1930s narrative about a tariff war, a trade war. It’s unsettling people. It’s causing some people to curtail their spending. Distrust of President Trump is building,” said Shiller, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences with Eugene Fama and Lars Peter Hansen in 2013.
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