Economists put the risk of a U.S. recession at the highest in more than six years amid mounting dangers from financial markets, a trade war with China and the federal-government shutdown.
Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg over the past week see a median 25 percent chance of a slump in the next 12 months, up from 20 percent in the December survey.
The Federal Reserve is now projected to keep interest rates steady in the first quarter, instead of raising them, before two increases total this year — down from four moves in 2018.
The median projection for 2019 economic growth edged down to 2.5 percent following 2.9 percent in 2018 as the boost from fiscal stimulus fades.
Growth is still expected to be buoyed by a strong jobs market, rising wages and some lingering effects of tax cuts. If the expansion that began in 2009 lasts until July, it would mark 10 years and become the country’s longest on record.
“It’s not our call that there’s a recession coming soon by any means, but financial conditions have tightened materially over the past two months, you have ongoing trade issues that are weighing on global growth, and you’re seeing business confidence waning a bit,” said Brett Ryan, a U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank AG. “The government shutdown weighs on business confidence and could weigh on consumer confidence.”
Ryan gave a 20 percent chance of recession, up from 12 percent in the December survey.