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HomeWorldUS economy enters technical recessions as Q2 GDP shrinks

US economy enters technical recessions as Q2 GDP shrinks

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The U.S. economy contracted again in the second quarter amid aggressive monetary policy tightening from the Federal Reserve to combat high inflation, which could fan financial market fears that the economy was already in recession.

Gross domestic product fell at a 0.9 per cent annualized rate last quarter, the Commerce Department said in its advance estimate of GDP on Thursday. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast GDP rebounding at a 0.5 per cent rate.

MARKET REACTION:

STOCKS: S&P 500 futures were down 0.1 per cent, pointing to a flat open on Wall Street

BONDS: U.S. 10-year yields fell to 2.7176 per cent; Two-year yields fell to 2.8966 per cent

FOREX: The dollar index pared a gain to 0.18 per cent

COMMENTS:

ART HOGAN, CHIEF MARKET STRATEGIST, B. RILEY, NEW YORK

“GDP contracting doesn’t come as a great surprise to anyone. We’ve seen evidence on a daily basis that there are parts of the economy that continue to struggle, and again, part of that is the business cycle and part of that is interest rates going higher.”

“It is clearly in the rearview mirror at this point in time… I don’t know that today’s data is going to change the narrative around markets remarkably, it’s we’re just not going to feel as exuberant as we did yesterday.”

“I think it would be impossible for the discussions around the recession to get any more pronounced than they have been over the course of this month. We’ve talked at the desk.

I think the economy feels the way it feels to you and if you feel like the economy is lousy because you know you’re being pinched by higher prices then you know you’re in a recession. Just the word recession means that we’re receding and economic growth is obviously receding.

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So it’s easy to get caught up in semantics and the semantics over an official recession really is difficult because oftentimes recessions aren’t declared by the NBER until we’re well into it, sometimes even out of it. So, to me, this doesn’t change a whole lot.”

PETER CARDILLO, CHIEF MARKET ECONOMIST, SPARTAN CAPITAL SECURITIES, NEW YORK

“These are disappointing numbers, obviously, and the first quarter was revised lower.”

“The market has been forecasting a recession. From a textbook viewpoint, this is a recession and a mild one.”

“Will this change the course of the Fed? Probably not.”

“(The inventories drag) tells you that corporations are very concerned and are pulling back on their spending. That’s part of a recession atmosphere.”

“The bright spot is the core PCE price index, which dropped to 4.4 per cent.”

HUSSAIN MEHDI, MACRO AND INVESTMENT STRATEGIST, HSBC ASSET MANAGEMENT, LONDON (email)

“Although the US economy has entered a technical recession this mainly reflects contributions from trade flows and inventory de-stocking. Underlying activity remains buoyed by a strong labor market and a rotation to services spending.

Nevertheless, growth momentum is undoubtedly weakening amid headwinds such as rapid policy tightening, a significant squeeze in real incomes, and falling confidence.

“We see a bumpy road ahead as the Fed attempts to rebalance supply and demand in the economy and an elevated risk of recession in the second half of 2023 as rates push into restrictive territory.”

“In terms of markets, ongoing Fed tightening and a weakening macro backdrop is likely to constrain performance going into year-end. We remain selective and defensive in our asset class positioning.

“For us, a relative preference for US equities over other developed markets continues to make sense, with growth and tech stocks likely to be a major beneficiary of a less hawkish Fed policy stance as inflation cools.”

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