Let me start by saying I don’t understand economics at all. Just don’t get it.
That said, a piece in Politico caught my attention. It’s titled “Recession is coming!”
The questions here are these: When will recession hit? What will cause it? And how bad will it be?
First of all, what is a recession? Here’s how Forbes defines it: A recession is a significant decline in economic activity that lasts for months or even years. Experts declare a recession when a nation’s economy experiences negative gross domestic product (GDP), rising levels of unemployment, falling retail sales, and contracting measures of income and manufacturing for an extended period of time.
Here’s the thing that I’m learning about recessions. They happen. They always happen. It’s part of the business cycle. The concern is how bad is it going to be?
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell appeared before the Senate Banking Committee. He said the Fed might be able to lower inflation without tipping the economy into a recession.
Doing it will be tricky. Says Powell: “We’re not trying to provoke, and don’t think that we will need to provoke, a recession. But we do think it’s absolutely essential that we restore price stability, really for the benefit of the labor market, as much as anything else.”
Raising interest rates may help curb inflation, but will it help push us to recession? If so, will it be a short lived one?
I think the one thing we learned about the economy during the years of the pandemic is that all bets are off.
Remember when oil prices were negative? Now, look at where gas prices are? Remember when nobody was flying? Now, the airlines can’t handle the influx of travelers.
The Politico piece argues that we may already be in a recession. You just don’t know it until official numbers come in… like GDP.
Again, I’m no expert. Not an economist. Here’s what I do understand, though. People are hurting. They are having trouble filling up their gas tanks. Trouble paying for groceries.
We are dipping into our savings to make ends meet. Credit card debt is rising.
The Politico piece ends this way. It’s a bit positive too. There is nothing on the horizon to indicate a dot-com-like bust or the end of the housing bubble. There’s nothing out there to believe the economy could be bad for a long time.
I’m going to work with that. That said, I’m not ordering Uber Eats like I used to. I’m cooking again. Losing weight without trying. I’m just not a very good cook.