Although some experts, looking at an unprecedented U.S. economic expansion that has now lasted for more than 9 years, thought a recession might be on hand for 2019, the new betting appears to be on a much more gentle slowdown.
According to a survey of economists across the country, the Reuters news agency is reporting that the vast majority of those questioned pegged the chances for a recession at less than 36 percent.
But although that number is low, it has gone up by 6 percent over a similar survey response in October.
More consensus is seen among those who believe the economy in 2019 will experience a cooling off, due partly to the negative effect of trade tariffs, and a Wall Street bull market that is now in its tenth year.
Analysts also point to a predicted slowdown in the global economy as one that will inevitably impact the U.S. picture.
The Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is forecasting a somewhat modest 3.5 percent growth rate for 2019. In a statement, the organization said, “Recent developments suggest that the global expansion has peaked and is likely to slow over the next two years.”
Remarked Laurence Boone, chief economist for the OECD, “There are few indications at present that the slowdown will be more severe than projected. But the risks are high enough to raise the alarm and prepare for any storms ahead.”
Boone additionally predicted that an international downturn could be minimized through “cooperation on fiscal policy at the global and euro level.”
Even so, the U.S. economy, which has experienced a growth rate of around 2 percent for a record seven out of the last eleven quarters, may continue to perform at just above that level for most of next year.
The average forecast from a group of ten economists surveyed by news channel CNBC pegs the growth rate for next year at 2.7 percent.
Ironically, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the highest growth rates were seen relatively recently, in the second and third quarters of this year, when the numbers ranged between 3 and 4 percent.
By Garry Boulard
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