BUSINESSES AND CONSUMERS LIKELY PROTECTED FROM NEAR-TERM RECESSION
Not all recessions are created equal. Previous downturns in the U.S. were prompted by various shocks, with the most recent recession started by health and government-induced shutdowns. Other recessions started in the corporate sector, whereas some started from commodity shocks. The next one could start from geopolitical tensions. Nonetheless, we think the current business and consumer environments are safe from near-term recession risks.First quarter earnings season is rolling. BlackRock, Delta Airlines, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, and Morgan Stanley were among the first 16 S&P 500 companies to report March quarter results, following 20 index constituents with quarters ending in February that had already reported. Below we preview earnings season, highlight what we are watching, and share our latest thoughts on the 2022 profit outlook.
NOT ALL RECESSIONS ARE CREATED EQUAL
Recessions are sometimes difficult to describe, let alone predict. Definitions vary widely. To make matters worse, some coin their mixed forecasts as a “growth recession.” 1 Some simply describe a recession as two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth, which is clearly not true because the 2001 recession was shorter: growth in the first quarter of 2001 declined by 1.3% annualized but between strong quarters both grew above 2%.