The U.S. economy falling into recession within the next 12 months is a virtual certainty, according to the latest Bloomberg Economics forecast model released on Monday.
The dire projection surfaced just weeks before national midterm elections that will determine control of Congress. Just one week ago, an embattled President Joe Biden insisted a recession was unlikely and said any downturn would be “very slight” if it does occur.
Bloomberg Economics’ latest statistical projections showed a 100% probability of a recession within the next 12 months as the U.S. economy contends with decades-high inflation, Federal Reserve interest-rate hikes and mounting geopolitical tensions.
The likelihood of a recession was 65% in the Bloomberg model’s most recent previous update. Generated by economists Anna Wong and Eliza Winger, the model utilizes 13 macroeconomic and financial indicators to assess the odds of a downturn from one month to two years in the future.
The forecast model showed a 25% probability of a recession hitting even sooner — within the next 10 months — up from 0% odds in the last release.
Fears of a deep recession have surged in recent months as the Fed hikes interest rates in a bid to cool inflation. Investors believe the Fed risks “overtightening” monetary policy in reaction to higher prices and driving the economy into a sustained downturn.
Segments of the U.S. economy, such as the housing market, have already showed signs of struggle.
The Fed has implemented super-size three-quarter-point interest rate hikes at each of its last three meetings, with a fourth major increase expected when policymakers hold a two-day meeting Nov. 1-2. Despite the rate hikes, inflation ran at a hotter-than-expected 8.2% in September.
Bloomberg noted a separate poll of 42 economists predicted a smaller, 60% probability of a recession within the next year.
Biden, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and others have downplayed concerns about the economic outlook for months.
“I don’t think there will be a recession. If it is, it will be a very slight recession. That is, we’ll move down slightly,” Biden said during an interview with CNN last week.
“Look, it’s possible. I don’t anticipate it,” he added later in the interview.
U.S. GDP has declined for two straight quarters — the widely held definition of a recession. But the National Bureau of Economic Research, a key economy tracker, has yet to formally declare one is underway.