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No recession foreseen next 12 months, but fewer expect robust growth: NABE poll

January 28 2019

No recession is foreseen within the next 12 months, but economic growth may not be as robust, according to a Business Conditions Survey released today by the National Association for Business Economics. When it comes to hiring, more firms are reporting shortages of skilled labor.

The January NABE survey took place among 106 of the organizations members between Dec. 17 and Jan. 9.

“The results of the January 2019 NABE Business Conditions Survey indicate that most respondents do not expect a recession within the next 12 months,” said Sam Kyei, chair for the NABE survey, “but fewer respondents than previously expect robust economic growth in the year ahead.”

Kyei also said respondents were nearly unanimous that real GDP growth would remain positive through the end of 2019. Two-thirds expect growth to exceed 2%, but that share is smaller than the 90% who expected growth to exceed 2% in the last survey, which covered the third quarter of 2018 through the third quarter of 2019.

When it comes to wages, 58% said they are raising their wages in this survey, up slightly from 57% who said the same in the October survey.

Employment growth improved modestly in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to the third quarter, according to the current survey. It found 35% of respondents said employment has been rising at their firms, up from 31% in the October survey. However, 35% expected hiring to rise in the next three months, down from 37% in the October survey.

Skills shortages also remained a factor with 53% of survey respondents reporting shortages of skilled labor at their firms. That’s up from 47% in the October survey and the highest percentage since October 2000.

NABE is a professional association for business economists and others who use in economics in the workplace.

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