Most business economists in the country now predict that the U.S. recession will start later this year than anticipated.
Several surveys have indicated that the economy has been remarkably robust despite rising interest rates.
The National Association for Business Economics surveyed 48 economists, and 58% of them predicted a recession this year.
This is the same percentage that answered the NABE survey in December. But only a quarter indicate a recession will have begun by the end of March, only half the proportion who had thought so in December.
The study’s results, which included economists from corporations, trade organizations, and academics, were made public on Monday.
A third of the economists who participated in the survey now predict that a recession will start in the quarter between April and June. One-fifth believe it will begin during the quarter from July to September.
After several official data that indicated a still-strong economy even after the Federal Reserve has raised interest rates eight times in an arduous effort to restrict growth and curb excessive inflation, economists have delayed their forecasts of when a downturn will start.
Employers created more than 500,000 jobs in January, and the unemployment rate dropped to 3.4%—the lowest level since 1969.
Moreover, January saw a 3% increase in sales at restaurants and retail outlets, the most significant monthly increase in nearly two years.
That implied that customers generally, who drive most of the economy’s growth, still feel financially healthy and willing to spend.
In addition, several government reports revealed that inflation had decreased for some months before exploding in January.
These reports stoked concerns that the Fed would raise its benchmark rate far more than anticipated. Mortgages, auto loans, and credit card borrowing typically become more expensive when the Fed raises its introductory rate.
Business loan interest rates are also rising.
The economy may therefore suffer and perhaps enter a recession due to tighter credit. According to an economic study published on Friday, the Fed has never been able to bring inflation down from the high levels it achieved without triggering a recession.