Five signs why global economy is headed for recession

Many financial institutions have predicted that the world is headed for another recession.

As rising inflation and unemployment leads to a hike in interest rates, companies across the world have announced a freeze in hiring and planning to downsize their staff.

On Tuesday, the United Nations warned of an impending global slowdown that may likely be worse than the financial crisis in 2008 and the COVID-19 shock in 2020.

In its Trade and Development Report 2022, the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) warned that the world is “on the edge of a recession” and developing nations like those in Asia could bear the brunt of it.

It said that monetary and fiscal policies in advanced economies — including continued interest rate hikes — could push the world towards a global recession and stagnation.

Economists have given a myriad of reasons for the current recession predictions. Here are some of the five key indicators that suggest a lull in the economy worldwide.

US dollar

The US dollar has been surging for the past few months. It’s now the strongest it has been in two decades, and experts believe the value will grow even stronger in the coming days.

But this surge in the value of the power of the greenback is making agitating the economies and markets worldwide, and creating winners and losers.

Though a strong dollar bodes well for the Americans, the consequences are faced by other countries, especially the developing ones.

The rise of US dollar has led to a decline in the value of UK pound, the euro, China’s yuan, Japan’s yen, India’s rupee and many others.

As a result, it makes it more expensive for these nations to import essential items like food and fuel.

In response, central banks in a bid to fight surging inflation and to shore up the value of their own currencies end up raising rates higher

US economy faltering

The key driver of the US economy is shopping. They live by the motto ‘shop till you drop’.

But recently, their spending amount has taken a massive hit. And the reason is linked to the US Fed rate hike.

The central bank has raised interest rates at a historic pace, making mortgage rates to the highest level in decades, and clipping the wings of the business.  

Though the Fed hikes rates to taper down inflation, it gives a short-term shock to consumers whose borrowing power decreases for a brief period.

Corporate America tightens purse strings

Though the business prospered in 2020 despite the Covid shocks thanks to the American spenders, it has not been smooth sailing for the past few months, especially in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, reports CNN.

In mid-September, FedEx, which operates in more than 200 countries and whose performance signals the strength of the market, revised its outlook.

It warned that demand was softening, and earnings were likely to take a hit by more than 40 per cent.

Moreover, last week, Apple cut back on its production of the iPhone 14 after assessing subdued demand.  The move took a toll on its shares as it fell by 4 per cent.

Bear makes an entry into Wall Street

According to CNN, Wall Street is now on track for its worst year since 2008.

After inflation set in, the Fed raised interest rates giving a brutal blow to the stock market.

The S&P 500, the broadest measure of Wall Street — and the index responsible for the bulk of Americans’ 401(k)s — is down nearly 24 per cent for the year. Moreover, all three major US indexes are in bear markets— down at least 20 per cent from their most recent highs.

A similar situation has arisen in Europe, where the bond yields are spiking as central banks follow the Fed’s lead in raising rates to shore up their own currencies.

War and inflation

The Russia-Ukraine war and the resultant inflation spike has caused the most harm to the people of United Kingdom 

The UK has been struggling with surging prices since COVID-19, followed by the trade disruptions created by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

After the West imposed sanctions on Russian gas, energy prices have soared and supplies have dwindled.

The Britishers, who are grappling with the cost-of-living crisis with 10 per cent inflation, are raising concerns over higher borrowing costs that make millions of homebuyers’ monthly mortgage payments go up by hundreds or even thousands of pounds, reports CNN.

When would recession hit?

While there is a general consensus on the impending global recession, many analysts predict it to happen sometime in 2023. But, no one has predicted how severe it will be or how long it will last.

(With inputs from agencies)


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