Recession Watch 2024: Where Do We Stand Now?

Recession Watch 2024: Where Do We Stand Now?

Despite occasional economic hiccups throughout 2022, the resilience of the U.S. economy has become evident, As we approach the end of 2023, the nation, by the conventional definition, has managed to steer clear of a recession , Despite facing challenges, such as the collapse of three major U.S. banks earlier in the year, the economy has shown remarkable strength and has not succumbed to a downturn.


  • Despite facing economic challenges, including the collapse of three major U.S. banks, the nation has showcased resilience, evident in the avoidance of a recession as of the second quarter of 2023.
  • GDP grew by 2.1% in the second quarter, with projections of robust 5.4% growth in the third quarter. Despite positive indicators, concerns linger among investors, driven by a banking crisis, slowing job growth, and the Federal Reserve’s efforts to address credit conditions and inflation.
  • The Federal Reserve has raised interest rates four times in 2023, reaching the highest level in 22 years. This has impacted corporate earnings and overall economic growth, with the S&P 500 companies expected to achieve only a modest increase in earnings for the third quarter.

The Meaning of Recession

A recession is commonly defined as two consecutive quarters of declining GDP, As of the second quarter of 2023, GDP grew by 2.1%, and projections suggest a robust 5.4% growth in the third quarter, The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) officially determines U.S. recessions, defining them as a significant and prolonged economic decline across multiple sectors, The Bureau of Economic Analysis will release the third-quarter GDP estimate on October 26, Despite a notable 336,000 jobs added in September and ongoing consumer spending, job growth has slowed considerably over the past year.

The Concerns Over Potential Recession

Investors are expressing concerns about a potential recession despite recent improvements in the U.S. economic outlook, While the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee initially projected a modest 1% GDP growth for 2023 in June, it later revised the estimate to 2.1% at its September meeting, However, the Fed acknowledged that a banking crisis in early 2023 had tightened credit conditions, potentially hindering companies’ ability to secure loans.

Despite the Fed’s progress in addressing inflation, the August core personal consumption expenditures price index, the preferred inflation measure, remained elevated at 3.9% on an annual basis, well above the Fed’s 2% long-term goal, The central bank has responded by raising interest rates four times in 2023, bringing the target federal funds rate range to 5.25% to 5.5%, the highest level in 22 years, High interest rates are impacting both corporate earnings and overall economic growth.

S&P 500 companies are expected to achieve only a modest 0.4% year-over-year increase in earnings for the third quarter, following a significant 4.1% decline in the second quarter, Rising interest rates for consumers are further contributing to the challenges faced by corporations, as they reduce disposable income available for spending in the economy.

Nigel Green, founder and CEO of deVere Group, underscores the significance of the time lag associated with monetary policies, stating that the full impact of rate hikes takes approximately 18 months to manifest in the economy. According to Green, this delay raises concerns among investors about the potential adverse effects of the recent Fed rate hikes on the U.S. economy.

Thriving Through Recessions with Historical Insights

Concerns about a potential U.S. recession in late 2023 or early 2024 shouldn’t prompt investor panic, Historical data shows that recessions, averaging around 11.1 months since World War II, are not prolonged. The brief two-month duration of the 2020 Covid-19 recession is a notable example.

Recessions occur roughly every five years post-World War II, offering attractive buying opportunities for long-term investors. Despite the challenge of timing market bottoms precisely, the S&P 500 has historically yielded an average 40% return in the 12 months following a U.S. recession’s low point.

Certain stocks, such as Target (TGT), Walmart, and Home Depot (HD), have consistently outperformed the S&P 500 in both the 2020 and 2008 recessions. This emphasizes the resilience of specific stocks during economic downturns, presenting investors with stable and potentially rewarding options.


While concerns about a potential U.S. recession persist, historical insights provide a reassuring perspective for investors, The economy has demonstrated resilience, and despite challenges, the avoidance of a recession until the second quarter of 2023 is notable, The Federal Reserve’s actions, particularly in raising interest rates, have raised investor concerns, but historical data indicates that recessions can present attractive buying opportunities, In navigating the current economic landscape, a measured approach, considering historical patterns and the potential for specific stocks to outperform, may guide investors through uncertainties.

Read more: FOMC Sparks Market Surge: Navigating Opportunities in Post-Policy Shift


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