A strong majority, 74%, of U.S. business economists appear sufficiently concerned about the risks of some of President Donald Trump’s economic policies that they expect a recession in the U.S. by the end of 2021.
The economists surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics, in a report released Monday, mostly didn’t share Trump’s optimistic outlook for the economy, though they generally saw recession coming later than they did in a survey taken in February. Thirty-four percent of the economists surveyed said they believe a slowing economy will tip into recession in 2021. That’s up from 25% in the February survey.
Trump has dismissed concerns about a recession, offering an optimistic outlook for the economy after last week’s steep drop in the financial markets. He said Sunday, “I don’t think we’re having a recession. We’re doing tremendously well. Our consumers are rich. I gave a tremendous tax cut and they’re loaded up with money.”
Still, Trump on Monday called on the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates by at least a full percentage point “over a fairly short period of time,” saying that would make the U.S. economy even better and would quickly boost the flagging global economy.
The survey showed a steep decline in the percentage of economists who found the $1.5 trillion in tax cuts over the next decade “too stimulative” and likely to produce higher budget deficits that should be reduced, to 51% currently from 71% in August 2018.
Ken Simonson, chief economist for the Association of General Contractors of America (AGC) says the demand for projects, and the workers to build them, shows no sign of letting up in most states, and contractors continue to increase headcount when they can find qualified workers.
"But, job openings at the end of June were the highest ever for June, suggesting that contractors are struggling to find all the workers they need in many states," he says.
Having work to do, but no workers to do it is a concern for the future of the economy. AGC officials said that with overall unemployment rates at all-time lows in many states, there is a pressing need for Congress and the Trump administration to adequately fund career and technical education programs and enact immigration reforms. These measures would enable schools to more easily establish construction-focused programs. In addition, immigration reform is needed that would allow more people with construction skills to enter the country legally.
See the full report on the economy from the Associated Press.