The AtlanticThe Atlantic

The reason the recession hasn’t happened yet

By Annie Lowrey

01 Mar 2023 · 3 min read

Editor's Note

It's been months since experts predicted a recession, yet the U.S. economy continues to grow. Richard Waters delves into the reasons behind the forecasters' miscalculations.

What happened to that recession? The recession we were supposed to be in right now, I mean—the one that various forecasters assured us was a sure thing. The “writing is on the wall,” many economists believed in June. A downturn was “effectively certain” as of October. Maybe the dip was already here, some suspected, and we just had yet to notice it.

Or not. Unemployment is holding steady at its lowest rate in half a century. Layoffs are not increasing. The economy is growing at a decent clip. Wages are rising, and households are not reducing their spending. Corporate profits are near an all-time high. Consumers report feeling confident. So why were forecasters so certain about a recession last year, leading so many people to feel so pessimistic?

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