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Recession predictions not necessarily accurate, says UW-L economist



Many economists are starting to climb on board with predictions for the next recession in the U.S.

Sometime in 2020, seems to be the consensus but Taggert Brooks, the UW-La Crosse economics department chair, isn’t necessarily buying that.

“They’re near impossible to forecast,” Brooks said. “So when people tell you they know one’s coming, in the same way I know when the Packers are going to win or something like that — it’s just a guess.”

He says a recessions could happen, but there’s no good way to predict that based on current indicators.

“Recessions do not die of old age,” Brooks said. “So, sometimes people just think we’re due for recessions. But the data doesn’t support that. What often times causes recessions is external shock.

“Sometimes it’s a shock that’s been building up for awhile, like the housing crisis, but sometimes it’s some other random shock that we don’t anticipate.”

Rising inflation, growing debt and trade disputes are just some of the reasons many economists suggest the nation’s economy could stall by the end of 2020.

Brooks added that, regardless of timing, the next recession — like the ones in the past — will hit hardest on those who are deeply in debt and don’t have much in savings.

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