Top Moody’s Economist: ‘Even Odds’ for a Recession

Top Moody’s Economist: ‘Even Odds’ for a Recession

However, not all economists are expressing such a grim outlook. 

An increasingly hawkish Federal Reserve and elevated inflationary pressures are driving some of the top economists in the country to predict a recession.

Now, add Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, to that list. As reported by The Hill, Zandi acknowledged that there is a one in three chance of an economic recession this year and “even odds” for a downturn within two years.

“I would put the odds of a recession beginning in the next twelve months at about one in three, and probably close to even odds over the next couple of years,” Zandi said Tuesday on C-SPAN.

“Recession risks are high, but I think that if we do suffer one over the next year or two, it will be a more typical, relatively mild economic downturn,” he continued.

Meanwhile, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon admitted that he is preparing the largest U.S. bank for an economic “hurricane” and advised investors to do likewise.

“You know, I said there’s storm clouds but I’m going to change it … it’s a hurricane,” he said Wednesday at a financial conference in New York, per CNBC.

While conditions might appear to be “fine” at the moment, nobody knows if the hurricane is “a minor one or Superstorm Sandy,” he added.

“You’d better brace yourself. JPMorgan is bracing ourselves and we’re going to be very conservative with our balance sheet,” he continued. “Right now, it’s kind of sunny, things are doing fine, everyone thinks the Fed can handle this. That hurricane is right out there, down the road, coming our way.”

However, not all economists are expressing such grim outlooks. According to Yahoo Finance, Goldman Sachs’ chief economist, Jan Hatzius, is contending that fears of a U.S. recession later this year are “overblown.”

“While our growth forecast has long been below consensus, we believe fears of declining economic activity this year will prove overblown unless new negative shocks materialize,” he wrote in a note to clients.

“Despite the market narrative of declining business activity and sharply lower management confidence, the activity measures of the surveys available for April and May indicate a deceleration rather than a collapse,” he added.

Goldman Sachs had previously estimated that there was a 35 percent chance of a recession within two years.

A recent poll released by the Conference Board showed that nearly 70 percent of CEOs now believe that the Fed’s aggressive actions to tame inflation will eventually bring about a recession.

“CEO confidence weakened further in the second quarter, as executives contended with rising prices and supply chain challenges, which the war in Ukraine and renewed Covid restrictions in China exacerbated,” Dana Peterson, the Conference Board's chief economist, noted in a release.

Ethen Kim Lieser is a Washington state-based Finance and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.

Image: Reuters.