America's Economic Recovery Gets A Punch In The Gut

Written By BlabberBuzz | Wednesday, 29 September 2021 16:45

A group of business economists' trust in the U.S. economy is fading, a drop inspired by the possibility of a new, vaccine-resistant COVID-19 variant.

A survey published Monday by the National Association for Business Economics shows that its members assume the economy to grow 5.6% this year – down distinctly from their previous estimate of 6.5%. The respondents projected the economy will grow by 3.5% in 2022.

"NABE Outlook survey panelists have moderated their expectations about the prospects for economic growth in 2021 since May," said David Altig, president-elect of the NABE and the director of research at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.

The economists are frequently becoming more pessimistic about the growth outlook: More than half of respondents – 58% – said perils to the economy are skewed to the downside, compared to just 15% in May. Only 16% of respondents said the risks to the outlook are skewed to the upside, down strikingly from 56% in May.

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 WATCH: PRO 2ND AMENDMENT LAWMAKER SLAMMED FOR GUN-THEMED CHRISTMAS CARDbell_image

Pandemic-related concerns proceed to manage the list of potential risks: Nearly two-thirds of the economists said they saw the emergence of vaccine-resistant variants of COVID-19 as the most significant threat, while 9% identified slowing vaccine uptake.

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 TRUMP BACKED PERDUE STUNS GEORGIA WITH CHALLENGE TO KEMPbell_image

Another 9% said they were worried about the possibility of a "large fiscal program" as Democrats craft a huge $3.5 trillion spending bill, while 5% of respondents said the greatest downside opportunity is financial policy inaction or gridlock.

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 WATCH: THIS IS JOE BIDEN TRYING TO BE FUNNY AS HE REBOOTS LIBERAL KENNEDY CENTER AWARDSbell_image

On the flip side, about 44% of respondents identified a faster vaccine rollout as the biggest upside risk to the economy, followed by an infrastructure spending package (14%) and stronger global growth (12%).

Other specialists have also discredited their forecasts as the U.S. dealt with a wave of COVID-19 cases, driven largely by the spread of the highly contagious delta variant. The OECD on Tuesday forecast that U.S. GDP would grow 6% in 2021. That's down nearly 1 percentage point from May when the Paris-based organization foretold GDP would rise 6.9% this year.

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 LAUGHABLE: BIDEN AIDE CRITICAL OF MEDIA FOR 'NOT BEING FAIR IN COVERAGE OF PRESIDENT'bell_image

While the U.S. was making solid progress with vaccinations — 76.5% of adults have received at least one shot, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — and infections began falling, cases rebounded over the summer.

The U.S. is averaging about 140,000 new COVID-19 cases per day with roughly 1,000 deaths, according to CDC data.

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 FINANCIAL DISCLOSURES SHOW THE POLITICIZED TEACHERS UNIONSbell_image

Although breakthrough infections in vaccinated people happen, they tend to be far less serious.

FedEx's labor shortage is having dire consequences along the company's supply chain.

A lack of truck drivers, package handlers and other workers are resulting in longer delivery times and higher costs for American companies who are then raising prices on U.S. consumers.

Constrained labor markets are causing "widespread inefficiencies in our operations," said FedEx Chief Operating Officer Rajesh Subramaniam, who saw worker shortages had a $450 million influence on the company’s quarterly results.

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