NABE economists still expect a recession this year. The question is when

Minneapolis (CNN) The American economy is confusing: Jobs are on the rise. Inflation was cooling down but still Relatively hot running. Gas prices She is on the rebound. consumers Keep spendingand them Confidence is increasing. But holiday sales It was lukewarm. corporate layoffs escalate. a company Earnings are not excellent. and mortgage rates ticked higher.

At the time the economic data was presented Mixed messages or flat wrong expectationsForecasts of economists for the coming year are increasingly opaque.

The organization’s chief said the latest National Association for Business Economics poll, released Monday, shows “significant divergence” among respondents on the direction they think the US economy is headed in 2023.

Estimates of inflation-adjusted GDP or real GDP, inflation, labor market indices, and interest rates are all spread out widely, likely reflecting a variety of opinions about the economy’s fate—from recession to soft landing to strong growth, NABE President Julia Coronado said in a statement.

nearly 60% of respondents said they believed the US had a more than 50% chance of entering a recession in the next 12 months.

When such a recession begins was another matter: 28% said the first quarter, 33% said the second quarter, and 21% said the third quarter.

as the Federal Reserve Battle against high inflation It still looms large, and economists expect key measures of inflation to slow this year, falling around 2.7% to 3% in 2023 and getting slightly closer to the 2% target by 2024.

However, creating some uncertainty among economists is what the Fed may do during that period in addition to the potential impact from external factors.

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“Committee members are divided on how far the Fed will raise interest rates, how long rates will stay at the peak, when the cuts will begin, and what indicates central bank action on each of these fronts,” said Dana M. Peterson, chair of the NABE Outlook Survey and chief economist. In a Conference Board, he said in the report. “Respondents are very concerned but divided in their opinions about the consequences of other things that could affect the US economy, including the impact of China’s reopening on global inflation and the looming debt ceiling.”

in terms of the labor market, which is still strong and tightCommittee members’ median forecast for monthly salary growth this year was 102,000, a significant upward revision from December’s forecast of 76,000 jobs per month.

NABE economists said they expect unemployment to increase, but the majority doubt it will exceed 5%.

On the housing frontthey expect housing prices And Building a new home to continue to decline this year, with housing starts expected to see their largest decline since 2009.

But they do not expect the downturn to head into “recession” territory. Only 2% of respondents said the “housing market crash” was the biggest downside risk to the US economy in 2023.

Instead, 51% of respondents said the biggest downside risk was Too much monetary stress. was expanding The war in Ukraineby 12%.

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