Economic system

Fed: US economy shrank 0.9% last quarter, its second instant fall


The U.S. economy contracted from April to June for a snap second quarter, contracting at an annual rate of 0.9% and raising fears that the country could also be on the verge of a recession.

The Commerce Department’s Thursday decline in gross domestic product — the broadest measure of the economy — followed
an annual decline of 1.6% from January to March. Consecutive quarters of declining GDP are an occasional, though no longer definitive, indicator of a recession.

The record comes at a crucial time. Consumers and businesses alike suffered under the burden of punishing inflation and better borrowing prices. Wednesday, the Federal Reserve
raised its benchmark interest rate by a big three-quarters of some measure for a second time in its push to ride out the worst inflation spike in four years.

The fed hopes to achieve a notoriously tricky “soft landing”: a financial downturn that manages to contain soaring costs without triggering a recession.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell and many economists have mentioned that even though the economic system appears to be weakening, they doubt it is in recession. Many of them find themselves, in particular, in a tough and still robust labor market, with
11 million task opens and an unusually low rate
3.6% unemployment chargeto indicate that a recession, if it occurs, continues to be some distance away.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s previous story follows below.

WASHINGTON (AP) – After
decline from January to Marchthe US economy probably did no better in the spring.

On Thursday morning, the government will simply disclose how vulnerable financial broadening was in the April-June quarter – and likely offer clues as to whether or not the US could be nearing a recession.

The record comes at a crucial time: Wednesday, the Federal Reserve
raised its benchmark interest rate by means of a large three-quarters of a measure for a 2d time instantaneously in its thrust to overcome
worst inflation spike in four years. The Fed is aiming for a notoriously tricky “soft landing”: a financial slowdown that manages to contain soaring costs without triggering a recession.

Forecasters polled by knowledge firm FactSet estimated that the country’s gross domestic product – the broadest measure of financial output – hit a modest 0.8% annual result in the remaining quarter. As modest as it is, it can be summed up as a sharp development on the evolution of the economic system
Contraction of 1.6% in the January-March quarter.

Yet such a slow quarterly widening would be a drastic weakening of
the 5.7% expansion that the economy achieved last year. It was the fastest widening in a calendar year since 1984, reflecting the strength with which the economy roared after the temporary but brutal pandemic recession of 2020.

Some economists worry that GDP actually shrank once again from April to June, resulting in back-to-back destructive quarters that represent a makeshift definition of recession. The
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s working estimate of GDP increase, in accordance with available financial information, reports a decline of 1.2% in the 2nd quarter.

Most economists, regardless, at the level, in particular, of a still-robust hard labor market, with
11 million task opens and an exceptionally low unemployment rate of 3.6%, to indicate that a recession, if one occurs, is still a long way off.

For something, the first-quarter financial contraction wasn’t as alarming as it used to be. Previously, it was primarily driven by things that did not reflect the underlying well-being of the economic system: a much larger industrial deficit, resulting from Americans’ willful urge to feed on foreign-made items , has reduced the problems of first-quarter magnification by 3.2 proportions. And a decline in business inventories after the holiday season reduced a further proportion level of 0.4.

The Power of the U.S. Task Market, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell
mentioned during an information convention on Wednesday“makes you query the GDP information.”

The economic system released some encouraging news on Wednesday: June’s experiences with the industry deficit (narrower), inventories (higher) and high-priced manufacturing unit orders (higher than expected) suggested that 2Q GDP might become more powerful than in the dreaded past. Economists at JP Morgan have doubled their forecast for the April-June enlargement to an annual rate of 1.4%.

Even so, recession risks are growing because Fed policymakers are pursuing a competitive process of fee hikes that, while they will ease in the coming months, will most likely extend well into 2023. The hikes of the Fed have already resulted in a doubling of
the common charge on a 30-year loan last year, to 5.5%.
Home sales, which can be particularly sensitive to interest rate adjustments, fell.

Some economists echoed a statement Powell made at his Wednesday briefing convention: That the economic system, looked at as a whole, appears to no longer be in the grip of recession.

“We do not assume that the economic system is currently in a recession,” Tim Quinlan and Shannon Seery, economists at Wells Fargo, wrote this week.

Quinlan and Seery estimated that GDP grew at a glacial annual rate of 0.2% in the April-June quarter – “a harbinger of the worst to come as we forecast the ce

onomy to enter a mild recession early next year.

Even if the economy reports an instantly destructive second quarter of GDP, most economists would no longer consider it a signal of a recession.
The most widely accepted definition of recession is the only one decided by means of the National Bureau of Economic Researcha band of economists whose
Business Cycle Dating Committee defines a recession as “a significant decline in economic activity that spreads throughout the economy and lasts for more than a few months”.

The committee assesses a range of things before publicly mentioning the death of a financial broadening and the onset of a recession – and it does so regularly after the truth.