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US avoiding full recession, but economist says a 'rolling recession' is ongoing

Economy Jobs Report
Posted at 1:56 PM, Feb 21, 2023

So far, the U.S. economy has avoided a typical recession, but some economists say we're now in what they call a “rolling recession.”

“In a rolling recession, you know you could be doing well, but your neighbor could be suffering, and next time next month, your neighbor could be doing well, and you could be suffering,” said Sung Won Sohn, a professor of economics at Loyola Marymount University.

In a regular recession, every part of the economy generally goes down together at once.

But in a rolling recession, different parts of the economy take turns.

“If everything falls apart together, that is very painful and, in fact, the rolling recession could reinforce other segments of the economy,” said Sohn. “Let's say housing is going down, but consumer spending is doing well, and as a result, the economy as a whole actually fare better than you would in a classical recession.”

He says this rolling recession started with housing going down. Now we're seeing consumer spending being negatively impacted after adjusting for inflation.

He says business spending is next.

He believes pretty much everyone will experience some kind of downturn by the end of the year. But he says there are a few industries that could avoid this, including health care, aerospace and the hospitality industry.

How we come out of this, he says, depends on what the Federal Reserve does next. He thinks it has done a good job of raising interest rates but should pause additional hikes now.

The next decision from the fed will come at the end of next month.