Goldman Sachs raises recession probability odds, cuts GDP outlook

A recession is becoming a more likely scenario for the United States as the Federal Reserve hikes rates with economic growth slowing, according to Goldman Sachs. Jan Hatzius, the firm’s chief economist, said in a note to clients on Monday that a recession could come sooner than he and his team had previously expected. “We now see recession risk as higher and more front-loaded. The main reasons are that our baseline growth path is now lower and that we are increasingly concerned that the Fed will feel compelled to respond forcefully to high headline inflation and consumer inflation expectations if energy prices rise further, even if activity slows sharply,” Hatzius wrote. Goldman has penciled in a 30% probability of the U.S. entering a recession over the next year, up from 15% previously. Over the next two years, Goldman puts the odds at 48%, up from 35% previously. If there is a recession, it would “most likely be shallow,” Hatzius said. The Goldman economists cut their GDP estimates as well. Goldman now expects year-over-year fourth quarter growth to be 0.9% (down from 1.3%) in 2022 and 1.4% (from 1.6%) in 2023. The move comes as economic data has increasingly pointed to a slowdown in some sectors, such as housing and industrial production. The Federal Reserve implemented its biggest rate hike since 1994 last week, and also released updated economic projections that showed unemployment rising slightly in the coming years. Slowing economic growth would likely be necessary for the Fed to achieve a “soft landing” with its rate hikes, but the high costs for oil and some other items will make it even harder for the central bank to control inflation. “Encouragingly, economic activity has decelerated, labor demand has begun to moderate, wage growth has shown early signs of slowing, and supply chains have continued to recover. But discouragingly, commodity prices have risen further and pushed up inflation expectations, and shelter inflation jumped in May,” Hatzius wrote. The next major inflation data release is the May reading for the personal consumption expenditure index , which is due out on June 30. — CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed to this report.

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