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The leading economic data shows little sign of an impending recession. Sinking financial markets seem to disagree. Admittedly, growth is slowing, but the markets often exaggerate economic concerns. Paul Samuelson, a Nobel laureate, once quipped that the stock market is such a great predictor of the economy that it has forecast nine of the last five recessions. Clearly, slowing growth need not end in recession. And given the extremely tight labor markets, some slowing would even be good for the economy. Thus, while the financial markets have put us on alert, we need to see other confirmations before we would put high odds on a major economic contraction.

Key Takeaways

  • Financial markets fear a major economic contraction. Is there reason to worry?
  • Industrial development and investment have slowed. Learn what could drive a rebound in the coming months.
  • Is the high growth in consumer spending in 2018 likely to continue in 2019?
  • Inflation has been restrained, but could rising wages become a problem?