Catalyst News

Economist: Recession may have to wait, household activity strong

by Catalyst Corporate | Aug 27, 2019

Recession talk abounds. But while some see dark clouds amassing, the majority of economists responding to a recent survey now say the next economic downturn will occur later rather than sooner. That’s the assessment offered in the August Economic Policy Statement, provided by the National Association for Business Economics (NABE).

When polled in February, most respondents leaned toward a recession occurring in 2020 rather than later. But in the most recent NABE survey, the 226 responding economists are split nearly even as to whether the downturn will hit in 2020, or later, in 2021.

The results do not surprise Curt Long, Chief Economist and Vice President of Research at the National Association of Federally Insured Credit Unions.

Long, who will be a featured presenter at Catalyst Corporate’s 2019 Economic & Payments Forum said, “The day-to-day base data doesn’t seem too troubling.” So it is easy to push recession concerns down the road a bit, he said.

Long’s presentation, titled The Good, the Bad and the Uncertain, will be part of the robust lineup of insightful economists and industry thought-leaders commenting on timely trends and issues during this year’s Forum. The Forum is scheduled for Sept. 30-Oct. 3 at the Omni Frisco Hotel near Dallas.

“Household (activity) is a source of comfort,” he said, noting that “households and the labor market are doing well.”

But, he added, there are signs that should be watched: lending slowdown, inverted yield curve and concerns about the manufacturing sector.

“I think the most recent GDP figures show the household sector is bearing an increasing part of the burden carrying this expansion forward,” Long said in a recent Yahoo Finance TV interview. “So with some of the risks around it, it wouldn’t take too much to tip us into a recession,” he cautioned.

Long said the Fed’s response – which included the first rate cut in 10 years – is “about right” as it tries to steer the economy into an uncharted growth period. 

“All eyes are on the Fed’s September 18 (FOMC) meeting. Markets have already priced in a rate cut, whether they do it or not,” he said.  

In recent months, NAFCU has held member meetings with St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard, Boston Federal Reserve Bank President Eric Rosengren and Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Neel Kashkari. In addition, the association meets annually with the Federal Reserve to present findings from NAFCU’s Annual Report on Credit Unions and to discuss issues critical to the industry.

“Things will be interesting ahead,” Long promised.

In addition to Long, other Economic & Payments Forum presenters include:

  • Economist, Author and Former U.S. Navy Commander Mary Kelly: FutureNomics for Credit Union Leaders
  • Economist and Wall Street Journal’s Most Accurate Forecaster in 2018 Bernard Baumohl: Housing Influences on the Economy
  • Digital Transformation Expert and Author Daniel Newman: Digital Transformation in the Experience Economy
  • Nacha President & CEO Jane Larimer: The Future of Payments: Global Trends, Faster Payments and the ACH Network
  • Bestselling Author and Demographic Implications Expert Kelly McDonald: Economic, Demographic and Psychographic Trends You Should Leverage Now

And in conjunction with this year’s 50th anniversary of America’s first moon-landing, former astronaut Harrison Schmitt will deliver the keynote speech on Wednesday, October 2, with a special fundraising luncheon for the Cornerstone Credit Union Foundation to follow. Attendees will have the chance to meet Schmitt, who made three spectacular moonwalks during his multi-day stay on the lunar surface.

Register today to attend the 2019 Economic & Payments Forum. Attendees will be eligible for up to 20 CPE credits. For complete details, visit https://www.catalystcorp.org/forum.