ATLANTA — While signs are pointing toward a recession for the U.S., economic experts say this is not a time to panic.
Economists say fear of a recession can cause consumers to spend less and potentially help cause a recession. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, consumer spending nationwide continues to grow but has slowed considerably.
If consumers are running for the hills to escape inflation and a possible recession, you can’t tell it by the foot traffic around the shops at Avalon in Alpharetta.
Shopper Raquel Hardy told 11Alive she is concerned about the nation’s economic state, but instead of hording her money, she’s spending more.
“There are things you need on a day to day basis, so you’re having to spend it,” she said.
Ray Hill of Emory University’s Goizueta Business School says the word “recession” shouldn’t frighten consumers.
“It won’t feel like any other recession we’ve been in recently because the unemployment rate is so low,” he explained. “There are so many jobs available relative to people seeking them.”
Economists consider us to be in a recession when the Gross Domestic Product that measures the value of goods and services drops for two consecutive quarters. That drop only happened in the first quarter of 2022.
Hill added that if the U.S. does go into a recession caution is good while panic is unnecessary.
“If you’re sitting there and you still have some of that stimulus money sitting in the bank, I would hold onto it,” he said. “If the recession persists, the unemployment rate is going to go up and there will be people losing their jobs. But that’s so removed from where we are now in terms of the job market.”
As for Raquel Hardy, she admits there may come a time when she begins to tighten her budget. But for now, she’s keeping her pocketbook and her mind open when it comes to the future of our nation’s economy.