There’s a 72% chance the Federal Reserve could cause a recession by 2024, Bloomberg Economics says.
In February, the same models forecasted nearly zero chance of a downturn by that time.
The latest forecast came after the central bank made its largest interest rate hike since 1994 to combat inflation.
The odds that the US economy will fall into a recession by early 2024 have soared to nearly three-in-four in just a few months as the Federal Reserve tries to cool down inflation.
That means it could happen ahead of President Joe Biden’s re-election bid, setting him up to join the likes of Jimmy Carter and George HW Bush who were ousted after one term amid earlier recessions.
According to estimates from Bloomberg Economics, the Fed’s policy maneuvers create a 72% chance of a downturn by the first quarter of 2024.
In February, the same models forecasted nearly zero chance of a downturn by that time, and probability was estimated at less than 20% in March.
The latest forecast from Bloomberg Economics came after the Federal Reserve raised benchmark rates by 75 basis points on Wednesday, marking the largest hike since 1994. That followed prior increases of 50 points and 25 points.
Fed Chair Jerome Powell said the next rate hike will likely be 50 or 75 basis points but added that increases of three-quarter points size won’t be common.
Still, he said there’s “no sign” of a broader slowdown, and the central bank has said that a recession remains unlikely. The White House has echoed the sentiment, and officials have pointed out that different economic models produce different forecasts.
But Americans today are the most upset about the economy than ever before, and even more pessimistic than they were during the Great Recession.
The University of Michigan’s sentiment index fell to 50.2 this month – its lowest mark in history. According to the survey, inflation was the biggest driver for the negative outlook.
White House officials have been reiterating that inflation isn’t Biden’s fault, and that the health of the economy is better than Americans think it is. Nonetheless, his approval rating hit a low of 38.9 in June in the University of Michigan survey.
In May, the president said a recession isn’t a given, though the path ahead will be challenging.
“We have problems that the rest of the world has, but less consequential than the rest of the world has because of our internal growth and strength,” Biden said at a press conference in Tokyo May 23. “This is going to be a haul “This is going to take some time.”
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