Fannie Mae’s economists say a recession is coming. So does the Mortgage Bankers Association. As a matter of fact, 58% of economists are predicting a recession coming in the near future. Some even are predicting that the recession has started in the second quarter, but most are now expecting the start to be during the second half of the year. So, our question is – does it feel like a recession? The answer may depend upon where you are sitting right now.
If you are in the real estate industry, it may feel like a recession because sales have slowed so much since the beginning of last year. On the other hand, 2021 was so strong, perhaps it just feels like a recession because of the change of pace. Homes that are listed are selling quite well, which is not typical of a recession. There just are not enough homes listed for sale. That is also not typical of a recession. In a typical recession there are too many homes for sale.
If you are looking for a job, it may not feel like a recession. In the first quarter, there were an average of around ten million jobs open in the United States – and the unemployment rate was less than 4.0%. We also added one million jobs in the first quarter. Those are not recessionary numbers. Of course, that does not mean there is a job for everyone. If you are out of work, that feels like a recession. One personal observation – in the Washington DC area, observing restaurants, it does not feel like a recession, because you can barely get a table. That may not be the case in all areas of the country. This commentary does not mean a recession is not coming. But it may be why even most of those predicting a recession are calling for a “mild” one.