retail news in context, analysis with attitude

National Retail Federation (NRF) Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said yesterday that "despite two consecutive quarters of decline, the U.S. economy still does not appear to be in a recession and remains unlikely to enter one this year."

Here's the exact quote:

“Back-to-back contractions have heightened fear of a recession, but while the economy has lost momentum heading into the second half of the year, economic data is not yet consistent with a typical recession.  Our view is that while the economy is functioning at a slower pace it is likely to avoid a recession this year. Despite ongoing uncertainties, we believe the underlying strength of the economy is strong enough to deal with inflation and keep a recession at bay – or short-lived even if we are wrong.”

KC's View:

It seems clear that if/when we go into recession, it is likely to be unlike recessions of the past.  Unemployment remains at records lows, and the pandemic has helped to create simultaneous factors that make the current situation  an outlier.

So, we'll see.  A recession could be shallow and short.  Or…it could be something else.

I think we all hope Kleinhenz is right.  But how does the song go?   A dream is a wish your heart makes…