/perspectives/macroeconomic-research/goldilocks-economy-now-but-recession-looms-in-2023

Macroeconomic Update: Goldilocks Economy Now, But Recession Looms in 2023

We expect that a recession in 2023 will not be overly severe, particularly with improved global prospects.

February 22, 2023


This Macroeconomic Outlook report is excerpted from the First Quarter 2023 Fixed-Income Sector Views.

Falling inflation has given a boost to consumers, whose rising real incomes have driven consumer sentiment off the lows seen last summer. As a result, fourth quarter economic activity held up better than many expected, with consumption growing at a 2.1 percent annualized pace over the quarter. Cooling inflation and resilient real gross domestic product (GDP) growth have driven a resurgence in market hopes for a “soft landing,” which in this case means a return to 2 percent inflation without a recession.

While a recession may be delayed, we are skeptical it can be averted. The boost to consumer sentiment from lower inflation should wane, as we are unlikely to see energy prices continue to fall at the same rate as they have over the last six months. Many of the tailwinds that helped bolster the economy in 2022 are now slowing, if not reversing, including service sector reopening, the spend-down of excess savings, and the wealth effect from gains in asset and home prices.

Even if the economy manages to power through these headwinds, the Fed has made it clear that it will push back against any growth acceleration in its quest for a weaker labor market. Recent inflation data, along with revisions to 2022 data, will reinforce Fed resolve to keep policy restrictive, as the inflation slowdown looks less convincing than it did just a few weeks ago. Trends for goods prices and shelter inflation continue to point to lower inflation, but the main concern now for the Fed is core services excluding shelter, a concern likely to be amplified by the strength of the latest jobs and wage numbers. A 2023 recession remains our base case, but we expect it will not be overly severe, particularly with improved global prospects from Europe’s abating energy crisis and China’s economic reopening.

Unemployment to Rise as Recession Unfolds Later This Year

Even if the economy manages to power through current headwinds, the Fed has made it clear that it will push back against any growth acceleration in its quest for a weaker labor market. A 2023 recession remains our base case.

Unemployment to Rise as Recession Unfolds Later This Year

Source: Guggenheim Investments, Bloomberg. Data as of 12.31.2022. Shaded areas represent recession periods.

—By Brian Smedley, Maria Giraldo, and Matt Bush

 
Important Notices and Disclosures

This article is distributed for informational purposes only and should not be considered as investing advice or a recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product. It contains opinions of the authors but not necessarily those of Guggenheim Partners or its subsidiaries. The authors’ opinions are subject to change without notice. Information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but are not assured as to accuracy. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

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FEATURED PERSPECTIVES

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First Quarter 2024 Fixed-Income Sector Views

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Learning from Turning Points in Monetary Policy

The Case for Moving Into Higher-Quality Fixed Income (and Out of Money Markets and Equities) While the Fed Is Paused… and Ahead of Coming Rate Cuts.


VIDEOS AND PODCASTS

Are Fixed-Income Investors Being Compensated for the Risks They Are Taking? 

Are Fixed-Income Investors Being Compensated for the Risks They Are Taking?

Maria Giraldo, Investment Strategist for Guggenheim Investments, joins Asset TV’s Fixed Income Masterclass.

Macro Markets Podcast 

Macro Markets Podcast Episode 47: Investing as the Fed Prepares to Start Rate Cuts

Matt Bush and Evan Serdensky share their updated outlook following the latest FOMC meeting and the January jobs report.







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Investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal.

Guggenheim Investments represents the following affiliated investment management businesses of Guggenheim Partners, LLC: Guggenheim Partners Investment Management, LLC, Security Investors, LLC, Guggenheim Funds Distributors, LLC, Guggenheim Funds Investment Advisors, LLC, Guggenheim Partners Advisors, LLC, Guggenheim Corporate Funding, LLC, Guggenheim Partners Europe Limited, Guggenheim Partners Japan Limited, and GS GAMMA Advisors, LLC.

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