The surge in interest rates, plunge in the stock market and weakness of consumer confidence have fuelled fears of an impending recession, but there is still little sign of that in the incoming economic data. The coincident indicators used by the NBER to identify economic turning points show continued growth. The strength of payroll employment growth, which is averaging close to 400,000 per month, is particularly hard to square with claims that a recession is imminent. Admittedly, with inflation rampant, that is likely to keep the Fed raising interest rates aggressively, including another 75bp hike in July. But with underlying demand still strong, a slowdown in growth is still the more likely outcome.
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