Debate continues among officials and big banks over whether the US economy will fall into recession, as analysts expect the economy to slip into recession as it faces stubborn inflation and raises interest rates to record highs. .
Data for the final reading of US GDP showed the economy grew by about 2.1%, which is the same as the second reading. In the second quarter of 2022. Fixed income investments showed a growth of around 5.2% in the three-month period ended June, compared to 3.1% in the first quarter.
US exports fell 9.3% in the second quarter, and imports fell 7.6%. As for personal consumption expenditures, they rose about 0.8%, compared with a 3.8% increase in the first quarter.
A survey showed that business activity in the U.S. is close to stagnating in August 2023, with growth hitting its slowest level since last February, as demand for new business in the largest services sector has weakened.
Standard & Poor’s Global said – in its preliminary composite purchasing managers’ index for the US, which tracks the manufacturing and services sectors – the reading fell to 50.4 points in August from 52 in July; This marks the biggest decline since November 2022.
Although August’s reading showed growth for the seventh month in a row, it was slightly above the 50-point level that separates growth from contraction, in light of weak demand for manufactured goods and services.
For months, a strong labor market and strong consumer spending have eased recession fears, and both factors led to an upward revision in GDP growth expectations, but the data paint a less optimistic picture of the economy.
Recession is possible
Abhilash Narayan, director and chief investment strategist at Standard Chartered, believes the probability of the US economy entering recession next year is 50 to 60%.
In an interview with “Eqtisad Al-Sharq”, Narayan cited three reasons for this, the first being that consumer spending, which has been a fundamental factor in the strength of the US economy, will slow down as savings run out, the second is the risk of a government shutdown in October, which will limit government spending, and the third is that the 18 Date strong interest rate hike. Last month, the Federal Reserve showed its negative impact on US economic activity in 2024.
On the other hand, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the US economy shows no signs of an imminent slowdown.
Bloomberg News quoted Yellen as saying in an interview with CNBC last week that “I don’t see any signs that the economy is headed for a recession,” and that while the labor market may have contracted somewhat, the market is still there. A “healthy” situation. Industrial production is increasing and “inflation is falling.”
Yellen said she is watching for several developments, including the potential impact on consumer spending as student loan payments resume after a multi-year hiatus.
He noted that despite the rise in interest rates, credit is still available and “it has made a difference in some sectors”. He also said that he expects crude oil prices to stabilize.
Commenting on the decision to stabilize US interest rates in September, US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the bank was ready to raise interest rates at any time to push annual US inflation to 2%.
The chairman of the Reserve Bank emphasized that despite factors beyond the central bank’s control, there is a good chance that strong interest rate hikes will not push the US economy into recession.
Central bank experts expect the potential economic consequences of recent bank developments to lead to a “moderate recession” later this year. Bank failures can make borrowing more difficult, reduce spending and impact economic activity, meaning lenders may tighten their standards in the wake of recent bank failures.
Real estate sector
Mortgage interest rates in the U.S. rose last week to their highest level since 2000, negatively impacting already low home-buying applications.
The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate rose 10 basis points to 7.41% in the week ended Sept. 22, according to Mortgage Bankers Association data released Wednesday. As a result, the home purchase order index fell to 144.8, one of the lowest readings in decades.